Glioma, a most commonly found type of brain cancer. The sufferer only lives 15 months generally after he or she has been diagnosed with the disease.
A drink can now identify the patients having gliomas. It has been found that a drug contains 5-ALA (aminolevulinic acid) drug, turns outlines of tumors pink so that they can become clear and can be removed. Fluorescent chemicals are produced which mark the edges of tumors. This discovery is a great contribution because patients of brain cancer are in a risk while undergoing surgery. By this, maximum high-grade cancer cells are removed living aside the normal brain cells.
Once cancer cells are removed from the patient, they are sent to a pathologist to see their nature, whether they are high-grade or low-grade cancer cells and future treatments are planned accordingly. Colin Watts says that there is a need for separating tumor cells and normal cells for a successful surgery.
Recently, a finding has been presented at Glasgow. Patients of gliomas were treated at Liverpool Hospital by using this fluorescent drug and maximum cancer cells were removed from them. Consequently, the treatment caused a visibly longer life for those patients which was a victory.
5-ALA improves the efficacy of the treatment and is a good biomarker for identifying brain tumor cells. As it identifies cancer cells, more of them can be removed with fewer complications during surgery. This achievement is remarkable as it is a way of saving the lives of brain tumor patients with almost zero risks. It’s been expected that this treatment might be applied to treat gliomas in children and adults as well.