Can "Indirect" Contact Laser Surgery be Used for Fluorescence-Image Guided Tumor Resections? Preliminary Results

Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2018 Jan 1;17:1533033818805715. doi: 10.1177/1533033818805715.


Ensuring the complete removal of tumor tissue is the main challenge during resection operations. Recently, a technique of "indirect" contact laser surgery has been developed. In this study we assess the possibility of using such surgery for fluorescence image-guided tumor resection. Mouse colon adenocarcinoma CT-26 cells stably expressing the fluorescent protein mKate-2 was used as the tumor model. Resections of the tumor nodes were performed with either a scalpel blade, a laser scalpel with a bare tip, or a laser scalpel with a strongly absorbing coating on the fiber tip. Tumor-positive resection margins were detected using an IVIS Spectrum fluorescence imaging system. After tumor resection with the scalpel blade over half of the animals needed one additional resection to remove residual tumor cells. Animals in this group showed tumor recurrence within 7 days. Fluorescence imaging of the tumor bed, performed after resection to assess the presence of tumor cell clusters, was sufficiently effective only with a bloodless resection. The laser scalpels both with the bare tip and with the strongly absorbing coating on the tip provided such bloodless tumor resection in contact mode. Fewer animals required additional resections when the bare tipped scalpel was used and this also resulted in a reduction in tumor recurrence. After resections were carried out with the laser scalpel with the strongly absorbing coating on the tip, fluorescence was detected in the operative field and this led to undertaking additional resections, although subsequent investigation suggested that this was "false" fluorescence, resulting from the effects of the scalpel rather than the presence of residual tumor cells. The method of laser resection with a strongly absorbing coating on the tip therefore did not appear to demonstrate definite advantages over laser resection with a bare tip when removing tumors.

Keywords: fluorescence imaging; indirect laser surgery; laser scalpel; strongly absorbing coating; tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Laser Therapy* / methods
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Optical Imaging* / methods
  • Recurrence
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted*
  • Treatment Outcome