TUESDAY, Nov. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The presence of visible fluorescence can serve as an intraoperative diagnostic surgical biomarker of high-grade glioma within a brain tumor, according to a study presented at the 2018 National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference, held from Nov. 4 to 6 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Colin Watts, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed whether visible fluorescence 5-aminolevulinic acid is a pragmatic intraoperative diagnostic surgical biomarker of high-grade disease within a tumor mass in real time during surgery. Among the sample of 103 patients (median age, 59 years; 59 percent male), the authors compared the presence of visible fluorescence to histopathological analysis.

The researchers note that of the 88 patients who were evaluable, 81 had visible fluorescence of the tumor. Central histopathology diagnosis included one low-grade glioma, 78 high-grade gliomas (a 99 percent concordance), and two not assessed. Seven patients had no visible fluorescence, and of these patients, six were diagnosed with low-grade gliomas and one with a high-grade glioma.

“The advantage of this technique is that it may highlight more quickly high-grade disease within a tumor during neurosurgery,” Watts said in a statement. “What this means is that more of the tumor can be removed more safely and with fewer complications, and that’s better for the patient.”

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