Glowing dye may aid in eliminating cancer
"Clean margins” are a goal of cancer excision surgery. If even a small piece of cancerous tissue is left behind, it increases the likelihood of a local recurrence and spread of the disease, possibly reducing overall survival time.
With an innovative approach to cancer surgery, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are investigating a technique to help surgeons clearly see whether they’ve left any diseased tissue behind. Using a dye that glows under near-infrared light and preferentially accumulates in cancer cells, they performed surgery to remove mammary tumors from dogs treated at the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Ryan Hospital.
They found that the technique was able to illuminate not only the tumors but also cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes. Mammary cancer in dogs is akin to human breast cancer in many key ways. The research team believes that, with a different dye that is more specifically targeted to cancer cells, a parallel technique could improve outcomes in breast cancer patients who opt for breast-conserving surgery to treat their disease, The researchers reported this in the journal PLOS ONE.
Source: Citation: Newton A, Predina J, Mison M, Runge J, Bradley C, Stefanovski D, et al. (2020) Intraoperative near-infrared imaging can identify canine mammary tumors, a spontaneously occurring, large animal model of human breast cancer. PLoS ONE 15(6): e0234791. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0234791