Archive by date | June 2014

Real-time tissue analysis could guide brain tumor surgery

The intraoperative mass spectrometry platform for image-guided surgery in the Advanced Mutimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School as part of the National Center for Image Guided Therapy. Part of the team from left to right: Dr. David Calligaris, Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Sandro Santagata, Neuropathologist, Dr. Alexandra Golby, Neurosurgeon, and Isaiah Norton, Senior Programmer Analyst.

It doesn’t get much more complicated than brain surgery. Surgeons tasked with removing brain tumors have limited information available to help them make decisions about what tissue appears cancerous and how much to excise without damaging brain regions important to key functions such as movement and speech. But decisions about how much to cut might become easier in the near future: A study published today offers a possible way to discern which brain tissue is cancerous and guide surgeons in real time. The research, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses a technique formerly confined to analytical chemistry labs, called mass spectrometry, to make this determination right in the operating room.  Read more