by Sheela Philomena on  December 21, 2016 at 5:54 PM Health Watch
  • Ability of nanosensor to illuminate tumor tissue in mouse models studied.
  • pH threshold sensor to improve cancer surgery invented.
  • Surgeons help see the tumors better during surgery.
  • New sensor improves both survival and quality of life.

Illuminating Cancer: New Device to Improve Cancer Surgery Developed
Novel pH threshold sensor that can illuminate cancer tissue has been developed by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers. The new technique helps surgeons distinguish between cancerous from normal tissue.

Newly Developed Nanosensor
  • The imaging probe stays dark in normal tissue but glows when it reaches the solid tumors.
  • The pH signals in tumor cells are amplified to differentiate normal from cancerous cells.
  • The improved surgical procedure may help cancer patients who face side effects such as incontinence after rectal cancer surgery.
"Cancer is a very diverse set of diseases, but it does have some universal features. Tumors do not have the same pH as normal tissue. Tumors are acidic, and they secrete acids into the surrounding tissue. It's a very consistent difference and was discovered in the 1920's," said Dr. Baran Sumer, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, and co-senior author of the study.

"The new technology also can potentially assist radiologists by helping them to reduce false rates in imaging, and assist cancer researchers with non-invasive monitoring of drug responses," said senior author Dr. Jinming Gao, Professor of Oncology, Pharmacology and Otolaryngology with the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Cancer - Facts and Statistics
  • Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells.
  • Cancers caused by smoking and alcohol use can be prevented.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide.
  • There are 15.5 million cancer survivors in the U.S, representing 4.8% of the population, according to National Cancer Institute.
  • By 2026, the number of cancer survivors is projected to rise by 31% to 20.3 million.
  • The most common cancers in 2016 are cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, colon, bladder, skin (melanoma), lymphocytes (non-Hodgkin lymphoma), thyroid, kidney, blood cells (leukemia), endometrium and pancreas.
  1. Tian Zhao, Gang Huang, Yang Li, Shunchun Yang, Saleh Ramezani, Zhiqiang Lin, Yiguang Wang, Xinpeng Ma, Zhiqun Zeng, Min Luo, Esther de Boer, Xian-Jin Xie, Joel Thibodeaux, Rolf A. Brekken, Xiankai Sun, Baran D. Sumer, Jinming Gao. A transistor-like pH nanoprobe for tumour detection and image-guided surgery; Nature Biomedical Engineering; (2016) DOI: 10.1038/s41551-016-0006
  2. Understanding Cancer - (
Source: Medindia

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