This Glowing Dye Allows Doctors To See Cancer More Easily
Published on March 19, 2018
This glowing dye lets doctors see cancer inside the body.
Doctors are using a dye called ICG that’s given by IV the day before surgery. As it goes through the body, it collects cancer cells and lights up when exposed to an infrared light. So far, it’s been tested on lung, brain, and other types of tumors.
The method was able to highlight 56 out of 59 cancer cells before it was time for surgery. In one study, it was even able to highlight cancer cells that weren’t even visible.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Sunil Singhal stated, we use out hands and our eyes, it’s the only tools we have. And we’re not taking away from that but we’re adding an extra feature. Now it’s almost like we have bionic vision.
Surgery currently is the best way to treat cancer but, after surgery, cancer can still return, due to stray cancerous cells left behind or cancerous cells that went undetected. The dye is currently being used on an experimental basis, but doctors says they are in the late-stage study of getting it FDA approved. Maybe someday soon, we’ll be able to use the special stuff as an extra measure of cancer detection.