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Experimental Drug Helps Surgeons Remove Brain Tumors By Making Cancer Cells Glow Pink

Dr. Andrew Sloan Video
Play this video to hear Dr. Andrew Sloan discuss a new drug that is helping surgeons locate and remove dangerous brain tumors.

Surgeons at University Hospitals Neurological Institute’s Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center are studying an experimental drug that can help surgeons locate and remove brain tumors more effectively. The drug, 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA), is given to patients before surgery and it works by making the cancerous cells glow hot pink. Surgeons then employ a blue light to help them visualize the tumor more clearly, allowing them to remove the tumor from the brain. Center Director Andrew Sloan, MD said if surgeons can remove 95 to 99 percent of the tumor, it can nearly double a patient’s survival. University Hospitals is one of just a few hospitals in the country that is studying the use of 5-ALA for brain tumor surgery.

Other trials include:

  • 06-benzylguanine (BG) and Temozolomide (TMZ) Therapy of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) in Patients with MGMT Positive Tumors with Infusion of Autologous P140KMGMT+ Hematopoietic Progenitors to Protect Hematopoiesis
  • Fluorescence-Guided Detection of Malignant Gliomas: A Dose Ranging Study Using 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA) Induced Protoporphyrin (PpIX) in a Multicenter Phase II Clinical Trial
  • A Phase II Clinical Trial Evaluating DCVax-Brain, Autologous Dendritic Cells Pulsed with Tumor Lysate Antigen for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme
  • A Phase I Study of Methoxyamine and Temozolomide in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors
  • Phase II Study of Radiation Therapy with or without Temozolomide for Symptomatic or Progressive Low-Grade Gliomas
  • Phase II Trial of Observation for Low-Risk Meningiomas and of Radiotherapy for Intermediate and High-Risk Meningiomas