Eau de fluorescence

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute and The University of Tokyo have developed a topical fluorescent probe that they have shown can detect residual tumor cells in mice during cancer surgery.1 The researchers will next validate the method in surgical tissue from ovarian cancer patients before submitting an IND.

The rationale for using fluorescent agents to tag tumor cells during cancer surgery is clear: they improve the efficiency of resection and allow better identification of residual cancer cells that could initiate metastases and might be missed by surgeons relying on the naked eye. The difficulty has been designing the probes.

Most agents in development are

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