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Novel fluorescence technology introduced for improved detection of tumor tissue

Study introduces a 5-aminolevulinic acid for improved detection of residual tumor tissue during the surgery of benign brain tumors compared to conventional surgical microscopy

By Emilee Green | Aug 20, 2020

Wadiura August 2020 Editor's ChoiceWausau, WI (August 20, 2020) – Meningiomas are benign lesions of the brain, and the treatment of choice is maximal safe tumor resection. However, tumor recurrence is not uncommon in meningiomas and is frequently caused by unnoticed residual tumor tissue during surgery. 5‐aminolevulinic acid (5‐ALA) induced fluorescence has been found to visualize the majority of meningiomas, however, no comprehensive histopathological assessment of fluorescing tissue samples is available. This study introduces 5-ALA for improved detection of residual tumor tissue during the surgery of benign brain tumors compared to conventional surgical microscopy.

This clinical report, published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS), was selected as the August 2020 Editor’s Choice.

The study, led by Lisa I. Wadiura, MD, is titled “High Diagnostic Accuracy of Visible 5ALA Fluorescence in Meningioma Surgery According to Histopathological Analysis of Tumor Bulk and Peritumoral Tissue.”  

“During tumor resection, 5-ALA can detect the majority of intracranial meningiomas by visible fluorescence. However, the histological correlate of 5-ALA fluorescence in meningiomas and its value for the detection of residual tumor tissue has not been investigated. An innovative tool for intraoperative detection of residual meningioma tissue would be of major importance to significantly improve the prognosis and minimize tumor recurrence,” said Wadiura.

5-ALA fluorescence supports the neurosurgeon in detecting residual tumor tissue at specific surgical sites such as infiltrated bone or satellite lesions to optimize the extent of resection, minimize meningioma recurrence and thus significantly improve patient prognosis.

Dr. Wadiura is in the final year of residency at the Department of Neurosurgery at the Medical University of Vienna. Dr. Wadiura is a member of the research group for innovative fluorescence technologies in neurosurgery directed by Professor Georg Widhalm and the current work was conducted as part of her PhD project.

Editor’s Choice is an exclusive article published in LSM, the official journal of the ASLMS. View the complete manuscript.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the largest multidisciplinary professional organization dedicated to the development and application of lasers and related technology for health care applications. ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. ASLMS membership includes physicians, surgeons, nurses and allied health professionals representing multiple specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, industry representatives and manufacturers. For more information, visit


The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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