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Current Projects and Publications

The Answer on the Other End of the Leash (link to article about us)

A Novel Intraoperative Imaging System to Detect Residual Cancer

Much as the field of Oncology has advanced, but there is still not a good way to determine if surgical excision of a tumor has been complete.  Even in this modern era of surgical technology, the gold standard remains using India ink applied to resected tumors and then asking a pathologist to determine if the surgical margins are “clean” (or “positive”) or “dirty” (or “negative”).  This process can take a week or longer and does not necessarily correlate with local recurrence of the tumor.  Based on a critical need in Oncology to know – before leaving the operating room – whether or not the tumor has been completely excised, a collaboration between scientists, physicians, and veterinarians was formed.  Lumicell Diagnostics, a company in Cambridge, MA, has developed a fluorescent probe that is activated by cancer cells and detected by a novel imaging system.  This system allows residual cancer (cancer left behind by the surgeon) to be identified visually before the end of the operation.  Initially tested by Dr. David Kirsch and Dr. Brian Brigman in mice at Duke, the imaging system was successfully utilized in a canine clinical trial – one of the first of its kind – helping dogs with soft tissue sarcomas and mast cell tumors.  Led by Will and Cindy Eward, this trial was conducted at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas.  The imaging system is currently being used in a Phase I clinical trial in humans with sarcoma and breast cancer at Duke University.


To read more about this technology:

**Publication links here (Mito et al Cancer, Eward et al CORR)**


To read more about Lumicell, Inc.:


A Novel Laser Ablation System to Destroy Residual Cancer

As the imaging system was refined, we wondered if the technology could be utilized not only to detect residual cancer – but also to destroy it.  Drs. Jorge Ferrer and David Strasfeld, at Lumicell, Inc., developed a laser ablation system that targets the same fluorescent probes that illuminate the cancer cells.  Our testing so far has been in mice and has shown that with this technology we can reduce the risk of local recurrence of soft tissue sarcomas.  Much like the imaging system, we anticipate that this laser ablation system will soon be ready for use in dogs and humans.

** Video link here **


Publications links coming soon