GE Global Research, Beth Israel Deaconess awarded NCI cancer surgery research grant

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GE's research organization GE Global Research and the Frangioni Laboratory at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have received a $6.5 million grant from The Cancer Imaging Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), for a five-year industrial/academic research collaboration to develop new technologies for imaging tumors during surgery.

The collaboration will aim to provide doctors the ability clearly identify the location and extent of a tumor during an operation The Frangioni Laboratory has developed an intraoperative imaging system that permits the surgeon to see diseases using near-infrared fluorescent light. GE Global Research will use its abilities in medical imaging system design and signal processing to increase the sensitivity of the system and to make it compatible with endoscopy and laparoscopy, the organization's said.

An initial design of a prototype imaging system for open surgeries is expected to be complete by the end of the first year of the project. The ultimate goal of the research partnership is to have a fully functional and completed surgical imaging system ready for the clinical stage in five years.

Immediate cancer surgery applications of this enhanced optical imaging system would include: image-guided sentinel lymph node mapping, image-guided cancer resection with real-time assessment of surgical margins, and intraoperative detection of occult metastases in the surgical field, according to the organizations.