My friend Emily Low Johnson’s father, Dr. Philip S. Low, is a cancer researcher at Purdue University. His team has come up with a new way to see cancer cells or tumors through the development of a flourescent dye that makes the cancer cells “glow.” The cells are tricked into absorbing the flourescent dye via folic acid, which cancer cells need to live. Dr. Low was interviewed on CBS and ABC last weekend.
While this new breakthrough is very promising, it is not FDA-approved yet and so far has only been tried in Holland in twenty successful ovarian cancer surgeries. According to Dr. Low, the new tumor imaging methodology will begin clinical trials in the USA within two months(at Mayo Clinic), but the initial tests will focus on ovarian cancer. In the future, imaging trials are planned for most other cancers.
I do not know if it could ever be used for the “MOAS” (cytoreduction and HIPEC surgery), one of the few ways to treat appendiceal cancers. Yet my imagination is jumping ahead and thinking how helpful it would for the surgeons when they are cleaning out all visible tumors from the peritoneal cavity. Removal of all visible tumor is imperative for HIPEC to work so just imagine if the cancer cells were glowing and the surgeon could find them with more ease!
Let’s hope this technique is approved someday and proven to work for the removal of many types of cancer tumors including appendiceal cancers. There is so much good stuff coming down the road…kudos to Dr. Low and his team!