Flourescent 5-ALA

‘Glow in the dark’ looks like the new agenda, specifically in the health terrain where we recently saw glowing bandages that indicate infection. This research by experts from Cancer Research U.K will test a new surgical method where the tumor glows under UV light during operations for glioblastoma, a harmful brain tumor.

The analysis called GALA-5 will include nearly 60 patients who have just been identified with glioblastoma. It will evaluate the viability and tolerance capacities of 2 treatments utilized as a combo. Firstly, 5-Amino-Levulinic Acid (5-ALA) that is transformed to a fluorescent chemical which apparently makes the tumor glow under the action of UV light during surgical procedure, will be trialed. This technique could help surgeons view the edges of the tumor distinctly, thus enabling correct and thorough tumor removal.

Dr Colin Watts, research leader, remarked, “I strongly feel that our best opportunity to progress further is to emphasise funding of lab-based research and innovative trials and the GALA-5 trial is a significant step forward in making this a reality. I am delighted to see this partnership between Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust and Cancer Research UK, which really make a difference and allow more trials and clinicians to be supported.”

Secondly, a therapy is given after the tumor is taken off where the surgeons introduce wafers saturated with the chemotherapy medication namely carmustine into the opening. The latter is then locally given out to aid in the demolition of other tumor cells.

The team believes that treating brain tumors is a real challenge and necessitates new treatments. 4 patients have been selected currently for the GALA-5 trial which is a prominent step towards lab-based research and innovations.