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European first: Leiden specialists use fluorescence in removal of lung tumour

A team of surgeons at Leiden University Medical Center and the Centre for Human Drug Research have removed a lung tumour that they pinpointed using fluorescence. This is the first time that this technique has been used in Europe in a patient with a lung tumour.

The technique was developed in partnership with American company On Target and has previously been used successfully in the LUMC on patients with ovarian cancer. The fluorescent material can now be used to detect particular lung tumours. Before the operation, the patient receives a dose of the substance -  OTL 38  - that binds to the tumour cells in the body. Using a special camera, the Quest Spectrum, developed by Dutch company Quest Medical Imaging, the tumour and any lymph glands that are affected light up green in colour.  

Preserves healthy tissue

This makes it possible to pinpoint the cancerous tissue precisely and to remove it completely. There is then a much lower chance that not all the tumorous tissue is removed. This new technique also makes it possible to preserve more of the surrounding healthy tissue, which makes the operation less risky  and may well aid the patient's recovery. Cardiothoracic surgeon Jerry Braun of the LUMC describes the first results of the operation as promising. 

Read further (in Dutch)

Photo above the article: Using a special camera, the surgeons can see the tumour light up on the screen. (Photo: LUMC)

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