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Laser surgery could remove brain tumour

Published on 05/09/2013

Surgery guided by lasers could help combat brain cancer by clearly outlining the edges of the tumour for efficient removal, US scientists say.


Removing parts of the brain is complex

Treatment on brain tumours is done with extreme caution as removing any part of the surrounding brain tissue could lead to disability in the patient.

The procedure uses a high specification laser to detect different parts of the tissue which then shows the tumour in a different colour.

The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and was conducted by leading scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School and Harvard University.

Brain surgery is one of the most advanced medical practices and attempting to remove a tumour is a delicate balancing act. If a surgeon takes away too much of the tumour it can seriously damage the patient’s quality of life, on the other hand if not enough of the tumour is removed it will more than likely return.

Around 25 people a day in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour and more than half (57%) are diagnosed in people aged under 65 years old.

There are over 130 different types of tumour which can occur in the brain, other parts of the CNS or intracranial region, according to Cancer Research UK.

Dr Colin Watts, a Cancer Research UK brain tumour expert at the University of Cambridge, was encouraged by the results but emphasised the need for human trials.

He said: "It needs to be tested in a clinical trial, but this technique could be an exciting development in visualising tumour tissue, which is the first step in enhancing removal of disease.

"This technique is particularly exciting because it has the potential for helping us to remove tissue at the tumour/brain interface from where recurrent disease can emerge."

Health insurance can give you comprehensive cancer care if you are worried about developing cancer and can give you access to the latest treatments when you wish.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013


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