PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Surgery has long been the best way to cure cancer, and if the disease comes back, it’s usually because stray tumor cells were left behind or other tumors lurked undetected.
Now researchers are testing fluorescent dyes to make these hidden cells glow, exposing them to surgeons who can cut them out and give patients a better shot at survival.
It’s an advance that many experts think will soon transform how hundreds of thousands of operations are done each year.
The dyes are experimental but advancing quickly. Two are in late-stage studies aimed at winning Food and Drug Administration approval. One goal is to prevent repeat surgeries that are needed if doctors later discover that the initial operation left some cancer behind.