New Imaging Technology May Improve Effectiveness of Peritoneal Mesothelioma Surgery

An innovative new imaging technology developed by a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital is being tested on peritoneal mesothelioma patients to establish safe dosing levels and assess its effectiveness. If proven successful, it may offer significant improvements in survival for patients diagnosed with the rare and deadly disease.

System has already tested successfully on breast cancer patients

The Lumicell System, which began its testing on peritoneal mesothelioma patients on April 3rd, was developed by Dr. James Cusack, an associate professor of surgery at the Harvard University Medical School. It has already been tested on women with breast cancers undergoing lumpectomy surgery, and is also now being studied for use in the treatment of ovarian cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and appendiceal cancer. The system uses molecular imaging technology to more accurately identify tumor cells during surgery.  Previous reviews have indicated that it is effective at identifying hard-to-detect malignant cells beyond the margin of the specimen.

Imaging may stop recurrence of peritoneal mesothelioma

In a press release issued o the clinical trial for peritoneal mesothelioma, Dr. Cusack said, “This feasibility study is a critical first step in determining if the Lumicell System will be effective in improving quality of life for people with peritoneal metastasis. We will be…comparing the imaging results detected on the molecular level with the traditional microscopic evaluation, to improve surgical outcomes for patients with peritoneal surface malignancies.”

The goal of using the new technology in the treatment of mesothelioma is that by identifying microscopic cells that remain following the initial surgical approach, it would allow the surgeon to remove those additional cells and both avoid the need for additional surgery and minimize the risk of the cancer’s return. Tests performed on more than 200 breast cancer patients identified residual tumor that would otherwise have been missed, and Dr. Barbara Smith, professor of surgery at Harvard and director of the Breast Program at Massachusetts General Hospital said of that testing, “Our study found [the Lumicell System] was effective for real time identification of residual cancer intraoperatively.” The system involves the use of an IV injection of a solution called LUM015 which is then identified by a LUM Imaging device. The clinical trial will identify the safest dosage level that remains effective.

If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, then you understand the importance of this type of innovation. For information on other technological breakthroughs in the treatment of this rare disease, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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