Quantified biomarkers aid glioma resection

Medical Physics Web

December 12, 2011

By Jacqueline Hewett

Researchers based in the US, Canada and Spain have published a proof-of-concept study showing that a quantitative assessment of multiple biologically relevant biomarkers can be used to optically guide surgical resection of gliomas, the most common type of primary brain tumour (J. Biomed. Opt. 16 116007).

Having developed an algorithm that takes five biomarkers into account, the team hopes to detect tumour tissue with significantly higher accuracy than the current state-of-the-art: qualitative visual assessments of fluorescence contrast produced by endogenous protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) or even quantitative assessments of PpIX concentrations alone.

"We are, to the best of our knowledge, the first group to quantify and incorporate quantitative biomarkers into a biologically relevant approach for guidance during resection of gliomas," researcher Pablo Valdés from Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering, told medicalphysicsweb. "This approach even extends to detecting low-grade gliomas in vivo with a high diagnostic accuracy."

... "We wish to continue to test this multiple biomarker approach by evaluating it on a larger cohort," concluded Valdés. "Our group, led by Keith Paulsen, Professor of Engineering, and David W Roberts, Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) at Dartmouth, is currently working on extending this quantitative approach to a wide-field imaging modality, as opposed to a single spectroscopic point approach."

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