Tel-Aviv Scientists "Reign In" Lingering Cancer Cells
A surgeon could identify the location of the cancer cells in real time, that is, during the surgery itself. Existing imaging devices cannot do this.
(Israel) – Many cancer patients die not from the localized malignant tumor that is removed in surgery but when lingering cancer cells from the tumor spread by metastasis. Now, a team of researchers headed by Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro of the physiology and pharmacology department of at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine believe they have found a way to rein in these bandit cells that could dramatically improve the chances for patients after surgery.
They developed a fluorescent tag of injected polymers that is activated by an enzyme of which the cancer cells produce too much. This smart “Turn-ON” probe for guided imaging surgery is injected into the oncology patient a few hours before an operation to remove the primary tumor. The tag helps the surgeons pinpoint exactly where the cancer – even just a few cells that can’t be identified with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scanner – is located. The doctors then …
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