Center for Precision Surgery

Surgeons in the operating room

Program Overview

Penn's Medicine's Center for Precision Surgery brings together a team of surgeons, oncologists, scientists and specialized nurses who work each day to provide patients with the latest and most advanced techniques in cancer surgery. 

In most cases involving solid tumors, surgery is one of the key components to treatment success.  A common challenge, however, is that the surgeon may have limited views of the entire tumor making it difficult to remove all the diseased tissue.

Surgery Using Intraoperative Molecular Imaging

Surgeons and oncologists at Penn's Center for Precision Surgery are currently testing a promising new investigational technique called intraoperative molecular imaging, or glowing tumor technology, that is intended to help surgeons see the entire tumor and help detect cancer cells that could otherwise be missed during surgery. 

This technique involves using glowing dyes in conjunction with a near-infrared imaging camera. By injecting a dye in the vein, the contrasting agent activates cancerous tissue making tumors glow green. With a near-infrared camera, surgeons are able to remove the entire glowing tumor and surrounding malignant tissue.

By identifying and removing all of the tumor, surgeons are able to reduce the chance of a patient experiencing a local recurrence of their cancer. It also increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation in the treatment of those tumors. 

Learn more about intraoperative molecular imaging or find out who is a candidate.

Conditions Treated by the Center for Precision Surgery

Penn Medicine is currently investigating and performing groundbreaking surgery for the following cancers:

Why Penn's Center for Precision Surgery Is Different

Penn's Center for Precision Surgery is transforming cancer care by combining unparalleled academic resources with innovative research and compassionate care. 

  • Our unique approach to cancer care aids us each day in converting discoveries into new therapies, new treatments and new lives for patients with cancer.
  • If approved by the FDA, intraoperative molecular imaging would help with early detection and hopefully better treatment success for cancer patients. This technique may offer great promise to physicians – a strategy that could allow greater precision and accuracy in removing the entire tumor. 
  • Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center surgeons are continually adapting new developments in fluorescent imaging to treat all types of cancer. 

To learn more, read the Penn Medicine press release online.