Fluorescent Tracer Can Improve Detection of Breast Tumor Margins During Surgery

Fluorescent Tracer Can Improve Detection of Breast Tumor Margins During Surgery
A tumor-specific fluorescent tracer improved the detection of breast tumor margins during surgery and may help surgeons remove cancer cells that would otherwise be missed, according to the first part of a Phase 2 study. The study, “Implementation and benchmarking of a novel analytical framework to clinically evaluate tumor-specific fluorescent tracers,” was published in the journal Nature Communications. The complete removal of a tumor during surgery is crucial to avoid additional surgeries, cancer relapse, and lower overall survival. Currently, the distinction of cancer and healthy tissue during surgery mainly depends on visual inspection and palpation by the surgeon — a method with undetermined accuracy. Surgeons routinely remove an extra centimeter of tissue around the tumor to reduce the chances of leaving any cancer cells behind. Still, one in five patients requires a second procedure to remove the remaining tumor tissue. Thus, there is an unmet need to improve the specific detection of tumor margins during surgical procedures. Fluorescence-guided surgery, which combines imaging techniques and tumor-specific fluorescent tracers — fluorescent compounds that bind to tumors – has the potential to provide highly specific real-time detection of tumor margins during surgery, illuminating cancer cells that once evaded standard detection. Despite the increasing number of clinical studies evaluating tumor-specific fluorescent tracers to detect cancer during surgical procedures, there is still no consensus on the gold standard to determine their effectiveness. Researchers in the
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