A new Tel Aviv University study explores a novel smart probe for image-guided surgery that may dramatically improve post-surgical outcomes for cancer patients.
In many kinds of cancers, it is often not the primary malignant tumor, but rather metastasis — the spread of lingering cancer cells to other parts of the body — that kills patients. A multidisciplinary team led by Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine created a smart probe that, when injected into a patient a few hours prior to surgery to excise a primary tumor, may help surgeons pinpoint where the cancer is situated down to several cancer cells, permitting them to guarantee the removal of more cancer cells than ever before.
“In cases of melanoma and breast cancer, for example, the surgeon may believe he/she has gotten everything — that he/she has excised the entire tumor and left the remaining tissue free of cancer. Even if only a few cells linger after surgery, too few or too small to be detected by MRI or CT, recurrence and metastasis may occur,” Prof. Satchi-Fainaro says. “Our new technology can guide the surgeon to completely excise the cancer.”
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