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New surgical tool may facilitate the complete removal of tumours

New surgical tool may facilitate the complete removal of tumours
19th October 2011

A new surgical tool could improve the process of removing brain tumours.

Researchers are carrying out initial tests of a device that can detect cancerous tissue during operations, so that surgeons can remove more of the tumour without moving healthy tissue.

Zoltan Takats, lead researcher on the project, stated: "Besides brain surgery, the method has application potential in the field of the surgery of organs including liver, pancreas or kidney."

Scientists had previously tried to fashion miniaturized spectroscopic instruments and computer software to detect brain tumours by taking a real-time look at biochemical, functional and structural changes occurring within the cells and tissue of the brain.

When molecules in cells are stimulated by light they become excited and re-emit light of varying colours that can be captured and measured by highly sensitive optical equipment.

As different metabolic states and biochemical components emit light differently, cancerous tissue will be readily visible from healthy tissue.

This takes on greater significance when dealing with brain tumours, when taking healthy tissue can damage a person's brain.

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