A new imaging method has been developed, using mice, to allow surgeons to identify breast cancer cells more accurately.
The researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA developed a probe to detect cancerous cells while surgery is taking place.
Detecting cancerous cells in breast tumour margins can be difficult and it is reported that around 20% of breast cancer surgeries require a second operation, to completely remove cancer cells.
The probe, can selectively illuminate breast cancer cells under near-infrared light and consists of a fluorescent dye (indocyanine green, ICG) and a peptide (p28), known to enter human breast cancer cells.
"Because p28 preferentially penetrates various types of human cancer cells, we anticipate that our imaging approach can be applied to additional cancer types.", said Tohru Yamada co-author of the study.