July 9, 2015 – Light and Brain


Anchor lead:  Can a new technique using light waves help brain cancer surgery? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Brain tumors are tricky things, often embedded in normal tissue that is involved in critical functions like memory or speech.  Now a new technology developed by Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, may help surgeons remove tumors more safely.

Quinones: This latest technology is called optical coherence tomography.  We are using light to be able to see cancer cells in the brain, as we are doing a brain tumor resection, when we get to the edges we can’t tell what is normal and what is cancer. So to have a tool that call tell us with such incredible level of accuracy what is normal and what is cancer.   :27

Quinones-Hinojosa says the device has been used in a mouse model and excised human tissue but should be ready for intraoperative use soon.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.