Funded Research

Intraoperative Real-time Fluorescence Image-guided Resection of Pediatric Brain Tumors
Principal Investigator(s):
  • Suman Mondal, Ph.D. Radiology
  • McDonnell Pediatric Cancer Center
Award Mechanism:
Postdoctoral Fellowship
Project Period:
2/1/2016 - 1/31/2018
Total Amount:

Project Summary
The extent of surgical resection is the most important factor for determining survival in pediatric brain tumors. Surgical outcomes may be improved through fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS). A clinically approved FGS procedure that uses fluorescence from a molecule called protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) can highlight high-grade pediatric tumors, but this approach requires expensive, bulky surgical microscopes and may not identify low-grade tumors, which account for 30-50% of all pediatric brain tumors. By contrast, the highly cancer-specific near-infrared fluorescent probe LS301 can potentially highlight low-grade tumors, while the wearable goggle augmented imaging and navigation system (GAINS) allows inexpensive real-time intraoperative FGS. The goal of this study is to develop a dual PpIX-LS301-compatible wearable goggle prototype that will enable sensitive detection of low-grade pediatric tumors and eventual clinical translation.

Specific aims

·   Development of a dual PpIX-LS301-compatible GAINS (goggle) prototype.

·   In vitro prototype characterization to assess sensitivity, resolution, and ease of usage in tissue-like material.

·   Evaluation of tumor resection in mouse models of low- and high-grade pediatric brain tumors.

Potential impact on child health
This approach will enable more accurate surgery, potentially decreasing short-term post-surgical neurologic deficits and increasing the extent of tumor resection for both high- and low-grade pediatric brain tumors. This may increase disease-free survival and decrease serious side effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy used to treat residual tumor in pediatric patients.