Thoracic Surgery Research & Projects

Near-Infrared Image-Guided Surgery

Using the only FDA-approved near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent dye known as indocyanine green (ICG), our team has been able to identify tumors as well as their associated lymphatics in real time. The first lymph nodes that cancer spreads are called sentinel lymph nodes (SLN), and we are currently working on ways to identify these nodes intra-operatively for lung and esophageal cancers using the NIR technology. After identification, the SLN can be intensely analyzed for signs of cancer spread.

This has important implications in the staging of these cancers and could potentially prevent patients from having to undergo a more extensive lymph node dissection if the SLN does not have cancer. In addition, the bNORMAL trial uses the novel navigational bronchoscopy to create a “road map” for injection of ICG in the airway to better mark the location of lung nodules intra-operatively and identify the corresponding SLN. Using this technology, we have become leaders in fluorescent image guided surgery.

Results of our work are published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Genomic Project

The IMP genomic analysis team embarked on sequencing the tumor transcriptome to discover new clues about the cause and potential treatments for mesothelioma. A partnership was developed with 454 Inc and NCGR to perfect high through-put sequencing of highly enriched fresh tumor tissues followed by analysis and validation studies. The results of this collaboration are presented in a publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the specialized website accessed through this page contains much of the data displayed for review by the scientific community. Our goal is to facilitate and encourage research in mesothelioma. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests for collaboration.

Read an article about the study: Study Reveals Tumors’ Unique ‘Fingerprints’