Galaxy-exploring camera in the operating room

July 12, 2012

Neurosurgeons and researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute are adapting an ultraviolet camera to possibly bring planet-exploring technology into the operating room.

If the system works when focused on brain tissue, it could give surgeons a real-time view of changes invisible to the naked eye and unapparent even with magnification of current medical imaging technologies. The pilot study seeks to determine if the provides visual detail that might help surgeons distinguish areas of healthy brain from deadly tumors called gliomas, which have irregular borders as they spread into normal tissue.

"Our goal is to revolutionize the way neurological disorders are treated. Ultraviolet imaging is one of several intraoperative technologies we are pursuing," commented Keith L. Black, MD, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery.

The tumors' far-reaching tentacles pose big challenges for neurosurgeons: Taking out too much normal brain tissue can have catastrophic consequences, but stopping short of total removal gives remaining a head start on growing back. Delineating the margin where end and healthy cells begin never has been easy, even with recent advances in medical imaging systems, said Black, director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center and the Ruth and Lawrence Harvey Chair in Neuroscience

But the ultraviolet camera might be able to see below the surface, he said. Because tumor cells are more active and require more energy than normal cells, a specific chemical (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogenase or NADH) accumulates in tumor cells but not in healthy cells. NADH emits ultraviolet light that may be captured by the camera and displayed in a high-resolution image. The camera, on loan from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, employs the ultraviolet technology used in space to study planets and distant galaxies.

"The ultraviolet imaging technique may provide a 'metabolic map' of tumors that could help us differentiate them from normal surrounding , providing useful, real-time, intraoperative information," said Ray Chu, MD, a neurosurgeon leading the study with co-principal investigator Babak Kateb, MD, research scientist at Cedars-Sinai's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and chairman of the board of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics.

Kateb observed: "This study and equipment-sharing arrangement represents the leading edge of an effort by Cedars-Sinai to develop the next generation of solutions for brain tumors, injuries and other neurological disorders right here at Cedars-Sinai's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute by introducing paradigm-shifting technologies into the field."

In the clinical trial, the highly sensitive camera is placed near the surgical field, recording images as the neurosurgeon exposes and removes the tumor. Images are not used in decision-making or surgical technique but later are correlated with tumor appearance, laboratory findings, and MRI and CT scans to assess the technology's value in the .

Explore further: Latest vaccine study supports immune targeting of brain tumors

Related Stories

Latest vaccine study supports immune targeting of brain tumors

June 16, 2011
An experimental vaccine developed by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute targets overactive antigens in highly aggressive brain tumors and improves length of survival in newly ...

Recommended for you

Defining optimal opioid pain medication prescription length following surgery

September 27, 2017
A new study led by researchers at the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham and Women's Hospital analyzed opioid prescription data from the Department of Defense Military Health System Data Repository, identifying ...

Is older blood OK to use in a transfusion?

September 27, 2017
(HealthDay)—Using older red blood cells to give transfusions to critically ill patients doesn't appear to affect their risk of dying, Australian researchers report.

One weight-loss surgery shows lasting results

September 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—Obesity surgery can have long-lasting effects on weight and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, a new study finds.

Hold the phone: An ambulance might lower your chances of surviving some injuries

September 20, 2017
Victims of gunshots and stabbings are significantly less likely to die if they're taken to the trauma center by a private vehicle than ground emergency medical services (EMS), according to results of a new analysis.

Surgeons have major influence on breast cancer treatment

September 13, 2017
A woman's choice of surgeon plays a significant role in whether she's likely to receive an increasingly popular aggressive breast cancer surgery.

Some thyroid cancer patients can safely delay surgery

September 4, 2017
Most people diagnosed with cancer want to start treatment as soon as possible, for fear that delaying care will allow their tumor to grow out of control.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.