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Surgeons Test Glasses That Make Cancer Cells Glow


Earlier this week we read that a group of surgeons are testing a new tool that may transform the way they perform surgery on cancer patients.

Coupled with a fluorescent ink and a special light, surgeons may soon be able to wear new hi-tech glasses that will make cancerous cells appear blue while they operate on cancer patients.  The blue glow will help surgeons distinguish the difference between health cells and cancerous cells.

How is it done?

Prior to surgery, the patient is injected with a fluorescent dye in the area where the cancer is located.  Under a specific type of light, cancer cells will glow a bluish color while healthy cells remain unaffected.

What’s the big deal?

Previously cancer cells have proven to be very difficult to detect by the naked eye, especially when the patient is on the operating table.  Even with magnification, an experienced surgeon can potentially remove too much tissue or miss affected areas altogether.  When affected areas are missed, patients often have to return to the operating table for additional surgery.

The technology was developed by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and has yet to be given a name or FDA approval.  Last report, the glasses are still in trial phase and has moved on to the testing stage with rodents.

Doctors are very hopeful about it’s potential and believe it may make a significant difference in many patients.

Here is a brief video of what surgeons see while wearing the new glasses:


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