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Each year, the lives of thousands of people across the country are saved because someone made the choice to become an organ donor. In April, Allegheny Health Network is honored to celebrate National Donate Life Month and pay tribute to all of those who have bestowed the precious gift of life to another through organ donation. Visit AHNdonate.org to learn more and register to be an organ donor.



Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Allegheny General to test drug that lights up tumors

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Allegheny General Hospital is among three sites in the United States chosen to try an experimental drug that makes brain tumor cells light up during surgery.

The federal Food and Drug Administration has approved Allegheny General's use of 5-aminoevulnic acid, a fluorescent compound that attaches to brain cancer cells and gives off a red glow under ultraviolet light.

Surgeons often have trouble removing all of the tumor in brain cancers known as gliomas because the border between healthy and cancerous tissue is so hard to visualize, Allegheny General doctors said. The glowing compound, which does not link up with healthy tissue, should help doctors remove more of the tumor, they said.

The drug has already been approved for use in Germany, and a study there showed that it had doubled the number of patients whose brain tumors did not progress after surgery.

Gliomas strike 10,000 to 12,000 people a year in the United States and vary widely in severity. Allegheny General will use the fluorescent drug with patients who have all types of glioma, said Matthew Quigley, director of the hospital's Division of Neurosurgical Oncology. The hospital has enrolled 12 patients in the study to date and has approval from the FDA to treat a total of 50 patients.



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