Your Health: Virtual biopsy to study a groundbreaking method of learning more about tumors

Health Reports

What if it was possible for doctors to diagnose brain cancer by using a focused beam of light?

Think of it as a virtual biopsy. A New York neurosurgeon is the first in the United States to study a groundbreaking method of learning more about tumors.

It’s Your Health tonight.

A handheld medical tool about the size of a pen may someday revolutionize the way neurosurgeons perform biopsies to diagnose cancer.

This Mount Sinai neurosurgeon is testing the investigation device that eliminates a small beam of light. It’s called Raman Spectroscopy.

“I placed this on the tissue, the tumor, and then there’s a little laser emitted from the tip of this,” said Constantinos Hadjipanayis, MD, PHD, Neurosurgeon at Mt. Sinai Health System.

During brain surgery, the Raman signal detects vibrational differences between molecules. It is connected to a computer that uses a program to analyze the composition of brain tissue and shows the difference between healthy and abnormal tissue.

“The concept is that if we can detect the tissue better, than we can really focus on resecting just the tissue and sparing the surrounding functional brain in patients,” said Dr. Hadjipanayis.

This pays the way for a highly precise biopsy in the future.

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