Dartmouth researchers received FDA approval to conduct a clinical trial of a fluorescent agent for guiding tumor surgery. The agent, ABY-029, will be tested in six to 12 patients with recurrent glioma, a tumor that starts in the brain or spine. The fluorescent imaging agent will “allow surgeons to resect small amounts of residual disease that can be very difficult to detect otherwise,” says lead clinical investigator and Dartmouth-Hitchcock neurosurgeon David Roberts.
“Our approach will dramatically accelerate the paradigm shift towards molecularly guided surgical oncology,” says principle investigator Keith Paulsen Th’84 ’86, Thayer’s Robert A. Pritzker Professor of Biomedical Engineering and scientific director of Dartmouth’s Center for Surgical Innovation.
Imagine removing a cancerous prostate by using a console with robotic arms instrumented with forceps and grabbers that enter the abdomen through several tiny openings. The tricky procedure just became easier to master with a training device created by Professor Ryan Halter Th’06 and his team: a 3D-printed model of part of the pelvic anatomy.
Resulting from a request from Dartmouth-Hitchcock urologist Elias Hyams. Thayer PhD candidate Xiaotian “Dennis” Wu Th’14 designed and fabricated 3-D-printed molds to produce silicone models of the bladder neck and distal urethra. Ten surgical residents helped test and refine the models.
“The huge benefit of this is that training can be accomplished on devices instead of on patients,” says Halter.