APR 24, 2019 8:11 PM PDT

New Imaging System Can Help Eradicate Ovarian Tumors

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose and can only be known after reaching an advanced stage where many tumors have spread throughout the abdomen. Although most patients undergo surgery, there are some tumors that are so small and widespread and thus, difficult to eradicate.

Now, researchers have developed a new way to improve the accuracy of ovarian tumor removal called debulking. The process uses a novel fluorescence imaging system which enabled the removal of tumors as small as 0.3 millimeters during surgery in mice.

"What's nice about this system is that it allows for real-time information about the size, depth, and distribution of tumors," says Angela Belcher, the James Mason Crafts Professor of Biological Engineering and Materials Science at MIT, a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and the recently appointed head of MIT's Department of Biological Engineering.

Researchers now are seeking FDA approval to begin a phase 1 clinical trial test for the imaging system in humans. They hope the development can be used for detecting patients at risk for tumor recurrence and for use for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer for better survival and treatment.

Researchers at MIT and MGH have developed an image-guided surgical system that could help surgeons better visualize and remove tiny ovarian tumors. Fluorescent carbon nanotubes are used as probes to bind to the tumors, making them easier to see. Image courtesy of MTI researchers.

"We desperately need better upfront therapies, including surgery, for these (ovarian cancer) patients. We know that the amount of tumor removed at the time of surgery for patients with advanced-stage ovarian cancer is directly correlated with their outcome," says Michael Birrer, formerly the director of medical gynecologic oncology. "This imaging device will now allow the surgeon to go beyond the limits of resecting tumors visible to the naked eye, and should usher in a new age of effective debulking surgery."

Findings of the study were reported online in the journal ACS Nano which describes the medical imaging development based on light in the near-infrared (NIR) spectrum.

"A major focus for us right now is developing the technology to be able diagnose ovarian cancer early, in stage 1 or stage 2, before the disease becomes disseminated," Belcher says. "That could have a huge impact on survival rates, because survival is related to the stage of detection."

Source: MIT

 

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
JAN 15, 2020
Technology
JAN 15, 2020
Brain-Inspired Computing
The invention of the transistor, which lets a weak signal control much larger flow, was developed in 1947 and since its development computing has been on t
FEB 02, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 02, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About Solar Orbiter
The Sun is something you see every day when you look up at the daytime sky, but despite residing right in plain sight, there’s still so much about th
FEB 07, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
FEB 07, 2020
New diagnostic technology uses levitating proteins
Intrinsic biophysical properties of proteins hold valuable clues about how they function and their role in disease. Take, for example, one of the most comm
FEB 05, 2020
Technology
FEB 05, 2020
Portable Device Detects Food-borne illness
 Foodborne illnesses kill 3,000 people on an annual basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 48 million people
FEB 18, 2020
Neuroscience
FEB 18, 2020
The Wearable that Spots Early Signs of Alzheimer's
Since 2000, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s has increased by almost 90%. With an estimated 5.8 million Americans suffering from the disease, the Early
MAR 31, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAR 31, 2020
Pandemic in Silico: How Maths Modeling Helps Our COVID Fight
The phrase "flattening the curve" is used frequently these days by epidemiologists to describe various measures to keep the daily Covid19 cases a
Loading Comments...