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Surgical Innovation
February 2016

The Future of Surgical Oncology: Image-Guided Cancer Surgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(2):184-185. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.3604

During cancer operations, a surgeon only has 2 tools, visual inspection and finger palpation, to decide and execute critical choices that determine the outcome of a tumor resection.1 The hands and eyes can only provide limited data during surgery. Our group and others have hypothesized that fluorescent labeling of tumor cells during surgery will improve intraoperative detection of cancer cells.2,3 If the tumor cells will fluoresce or “glow” during surgery, the surgeons are more likely to identify tumor margins, residual disease, positive lymph nodes, and satellite metastases.

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