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Glasses Help Surgeons 'See' Cancer Cells

12 February 2014 12:00 pm
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High-tech glasses help breast surgeon Julie Margenthaler, MD, visualize cancer cells in a patient Feb. 10.

Robert Boston via Washington University School of Medicine

High-tech glasses help breast surgeon Julie Margenthaler, MD, visualize cancer cells in a patient Feb. 10.

Cancer cells are tiny and extremely hard to see, making it difficult for surgeons to ensure they’ve removed every single one during an operation. However, new glasses developed at Washington University in St. Louis could help; when worn, cancer cells appear a glowing bright blue. The goggles—used for the first time in surgery this week—work with video technology and special lighting to highlight a dye that’s injected into tumors. The device may eliminate the need for follow-up operations to remove cancerous cells that were missed.

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