July 10, 2015 – Brain Tumor Properties


Anchor lead: What distinguishes brain tumors from surrounding normal tissue? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Brain tumors are different from normal surrounding tissue, that much is clear.  But how can their differences be exploited to help surgeons remove tumors more accurately, while leaving normal tissue and brain function intact?  Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins, explains how tumor characteristics were used to develop a new device to assist in brain tumor removal.

Quinones: When you put this device and you put light, the light reflects and you’ll be able to distinguish between what is normal and what is cancer. Based on the nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio, on the morphology and structure of the cells, based on the chemical structure of the surrounding tissue, when brain cancer penetrates tissue it dismantles and disintegrates the cytoarchitecture of the white matter tracts, so we can actually tell that.  :29

Quinones-Hinojosa says the device may also help discern tumor edges elsewhere in the body.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.