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It was an ordinary surgery to remove a tumor -- until doctors turned off the lights and the patient's chest started to glow.Surgery has long been the best way to cure cancer. If the disease recurs, it's usually because stray tumor cells were left behind or others lurked undetected. Yet there's no good way for surgeons to tell what is cancer and what is not. Now, dyes are being tested to make cancer cells light up so doctors can cut them out and give patients a better shot at survival.A dye called ICG had long been used for various medical purposes.A late-stage study is underway for ovarian cancer and a mid-stage one for lung cancer.In one study, the dye highlighted 56 of 59 lung cancers seen on scans before surgery, plus nine more that weren't visible ahead of time.A device called MarginProbe is sold now, but it uses different technology to examine the surface of tissue that's been taken out, so it can't pinpoint in the breast where residual disease lurks, said Dr. Barbara Smith, a breast surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital.In an earlier study of 60 women, it revealed all of the cancers, verified by tissue tests later.
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