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Shining light on brain tumors

When operating on cancer, surgeons want to remove tumors and not healthy tissue. This is especially important and challenging when dealing with brain tumors, which are often spread out and mixed in with the healthy tissue. Now, researchers have shown that a well-established optics technique can reveal exactly where brain tumors are, producing images in less than a minute — unlike conventional methods that can take a whole day.

Images Reveal the High Density of Tumor Cells
Tissue from a patient diagnosed with low-grade glioma. The green image is taken with the new method, while the pink uses conventional hematoxylin and eosin staining. Going from the upper left to the lower right, both images show increasing cell density due to more tumor tissue. The insets reveal the high density of tumor cells.
Credit: N.V. Kuzmin et al, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands