Glowing Cancer Surgery

Dennis Douda: 80,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in the US each year. Mayo Clinic urologist Lance Mynderse says, because it is a cancer with a high risk of recurrence, ongoing vigilance in patients is essential.

Lance A. Mynderse, M.D.: It involves repeated x-rays. It involves repeated examinations with the cystoscopic instruments. It involves cytologic analysis of the urine. And this is done lifelong.

Dennis Douda: Minimally invasive cystoscopic procedures allow the inside of the bladder to be inspected with white light and a video camera. Suspicious tissue is removed. But Dr. Mynderse has reason to believe even the best doctors could be leaving cancer behind.

Lance A. Mynderse, M.D.: If one looks at the appearance of a tumor in the bladder, it is often a fleshy-colored tumor that very much mimics the rest of the lining of the bladder.

Dennis Douda: Mayo Clinic was the lead US site for a 28-facility study of an advancement on the procedure, fluorescent-guided cystoscopy. A photoreactive drug, Cysview, is placed in the bladder where it is absorbed by tumorous tissue. Add in special light filters and lenses…

Lance A. Mynderse, M.D.: And then you can flip a switch on the camera, it turns the light from white to blue. And that blue light interacts with the chemicals that have been bound to the tumor, and it fluoresces red.

Dennis Douda: Dr. Mynderse says that fluorescence allowed researchers to find more papillary, or protruding tumors, and 32% more cancer in the situ, meaning it could be removed before it spread. That translated into a nearly 20% drop in bladder cancer recurrence nine months after treatment and a seven to eight month average increase of living tumor-free four years after treatment.

Lance A. Mynderse, M.D.: If you can do something to interrupt that process, they are eternally grateful.

Dennis Douda: For Mayo Clinic, I am Dennis Douda.

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