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The talking tumor's guide to surgery?

The talking tumor's guide to surgery?

Using both a special probe that produces sound when heldnear a radioactive source and radioactively labeled antibodies against tumors, researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus are hunting for "talking tumors' during cancer surgery.

Surgeon Edward W. Martin reports that surgical patients areinjected preoperatively with labeled antibodies against a substance produced by colorectal tumors. During subsequent surgery, the pen-shaped probe is passed along areas of the bowel, emitting noise when antibody-binding tumor cells are present. According to Martin, tumors less than 1 millimeter in diameter have been detected in some cases.

"We've added a new dimension [to finding a tumor],' saysMartin. "We can see it, we can palpate it and now we can hear it.' Preliminary studies in 54 patients showed a 76 percent success rate--where the margins of the tumor were accurately defined using the probe. Martin says that in one-third of his cases he is finding more tumor with the probe than he would have without the equipment.

The system is being studied with other types of cancer, saysMartin. He adds that the probe, which can be inserted into body orifices, may replace some exploratory surgery. Martin, who emphasizes that the probe may assist the surgeon but cannot replace careful surgery to remove tumors, admits it is too early to determine whether the technique will actually improve cancer survival rates.
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Title Annotation:new technique allows surgeons to hear tumors during surgery
Author:Edwards, Diane D.
Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 11, 1987
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