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Feature August 2018 Issue

The Ability to Detect a Single Cancer Cell During Surgery

When removing a malignant tumor, a surgeon canít see a single cancer cell left behind with the naked eye ó or even 10,000 cancer cells. Thatís a microscopic amount, which is why excised tumors currently get sent to pathologists. They can look at a few small sections of an excised tumor under the microscope and get an idea of whether the cancer was removed in its entirety. But what if a method was developed that allowed cancer surgeons to see right in the operating room, before the patient was closed back up, whether any cancer cells remained?

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