How does the tumor glow?
The dye, because of how it has been engineered, is attracted to the tumor. The results of the clinical trials so far have shown that this dye gets soaked up by the tumor. It doesn’t make the tumor glow right away, but the moment the body is opened and it is exposed to light, [the dye] becomes activated and the tumor starts glowing.
What is the benefit of making the tumor glow?
There are two main benefits to the patient. The first benefit is that by seeing where the tumor is located, the surgeon can make sure to get it all out. This investigational method can make surgery safer for the patient if it allows the surgeons to cut out only what they need to take out, and nothing else. We believe that this approach will prove to be more precise.
Another benefit we have seen in these studies is the dye’s ability to “find” cancerous lymph nodes. This is especially important because identification of disease in the lymph nodes tells the oncologist that you may need to give the patient more chemotherapy, or that their cancer has progressed. This technology may also allow us to identify which lymph nodes we should take out and which lymph nodes we should leave in.