Drug 'lights up' tumor cells in brain
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- This year, 69,000 people will be told they have a brain tumor. People with the most aggressive forms are expected to live less than five years after receiving the diagnosis.
One major problem for surgeons is not being able to get the entire tumor removed. Now doctors are able to light up the tumor and see them better than ever before.
With some types of cancer, the cells can spread like fingers throughout the brain.
"We can never get all of the tumor cells out," said neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Vogelbaum.
Now surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic are using a drug used to treat skin cancer, called 5-ALA, to literally "light up" cancer cells in the brain.
"It is converted primarily by tumor cells into that substance that glows," said Vogelbaum.
Although 5-ALA is approved to treat brain tumors in Europe and bladder cancer in the U.S., the Cleveland Clinic is one of the few hospitals in the country involved in a clinical trial.
health, cancer, health care, medical research, healthy living, denise dador
- NKorea deports captive American war veteran
- Covina home-invasion robbery: girl, dad shot
- Ex-detective arrested for tipping off gang
- Nelson Mandela's legacy honored around world
- 'Valley Bandit' wanted for 8 bank robberies
- Family settles over Chino school gun accident
- Suspected heist reported, 12 tons of pot found
- New Mexico cop fired after minivan shooting
- abcnews: Bill Clinton reveals insights from Mandela
- 6 detained in theft of radioactive material
- Smartphone apps for a better night's sleep
- Long Beach motorcycle show offers demo rides
- 'Out of the Furnace' showcases pacing, acting
- OTRC: Grammys 2014 - list of nominees