Poor tumor definition is a central challenge in cancer surgery, which aims to remove all malignant cells while preserving normal tissue. Now, a team from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has designed fluorescent nanoparticles that can light up tumors regardless of genotype or phenotype.1 The approach could allow surgeons to achieve more complete tumor resection.
The new nanoparticle technology is designed to enable real-time imaging in the operating room and provide surgeons with a better means of identifying cancerous tissues than other fluorescent imaging reagents.
Many imaging agents rely on cancer cell-specific biomarkers such as HER2 (EGFR2; ErbB2; neu), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and folate receptors.2-4 But these targets are expressed in only small subsets of patients, and as a result targeted imaging reagents cannot be applied in a wide range of cancers.
In addition, the