Ovarian Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Novel Microscopic Imaging System for Ovarian Tumor Surgery

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, May 6, 2019

A novel fluorescence imaging system may improve the accuracy of cytoreductive surgery in womne with advanced-stage ovarian cancer, according to research published in ACS Nano. This system, which was tested on mice, allows for tumor resection down to the microscopic scale.

“The imaging system is capable of detecting a second near-infrared window fluorescence (1,000–1,700 nm) and can display real-time video imagery to guide intraoperative tumor debulking,” noted Angela M. Belcher, PhD, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and colleagues.

The study included two groups of mice with implanted ovarian tumors. One group was operated on with the assistance of the custom-designed fluorescence imaging system, whereas the other underwent traditional, nonimage-guided surgery.

The mice that underwent image-guided surgery had tumors as small as 0.3 mm located and removed and were found to have 0 detectable tumors 10 days after surgery, unlike those in the traditional group, which were found to have many residual tumors remaining at that time. The image-guided group also experienced a median survival rate 40% longer than that of the traditional cohort, despite many of the removed tumors having grown back within 3 weeks of surgery.

The fluorescence system provided continuous imaging of the abdomen during surgery, with tumors shown as glowing. This fluorescence was possible through researcher-designed injectable nanomolecular probes consisting of single-walled carbon nanotubes coated with a peptide known to bind to SPARC, a protein commonly found in ovarian cancer cells. When illuminated by a laser, these probes emit fluorescent light at near-infrared wavelengths.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at pubs.acs.org.

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