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NCI Cancer Center News

New laser-based tool could dramatically improve the accuracy of brain tumor surgery

  • Posted: September 6, 2013

A new laser-based technology may make brain tumor surgery much more accurate, allowing surgeons to tell cancer tissue from normal brain at the microscopic level while they are operating, and avoid leaving behind cells that could spawn a new tumor. In a new paper, featured on the cover of the journal Science Translational Medicine, a team of scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School (home of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center) and Harvard University (a component of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) researchers describes how the technique allows them to “see” the tiniest areas of tumor cells in brain tissue.

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Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 68 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.