Bioscience

Barrow study identifies new way to biopsy brain tumors in real time

November 11, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Eureka ALert] –  A new miniature, hand-held microscope may allow more precise removal of brain tumors and an easier recognition of tumor locations during surgery.

Neurosurgeons at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center are using the new miniature laser confocal microscope to view brain tumor regions during surgery and obtain digital images of the tumor and brain tissue. This was not previously possible without taking biopsies of the tissue.

The microscope is used to image the tissue after a fluorescent drug is injected into the patient and travels into the tumor. The first application of the technology in the research lab at Barrow showed that it was possible to distinguish cancer cells and the margin of the brain tumor without taking a biopsy. Barrow researchers also discovered that it was possible to obtain a digital video of the brain tumor to show blood flowing through the abnormal vessels of the tumor and the transition from normal to abnormal brain tissue.

For more information: Barrow study identifies new way to biopsy brain tumors in real time