Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New Firefly Technology Lights Up More Precise Kidney Sparing Surgery

Innovative Fluorescence Imaging Helps Surgeons Remove Just the Tumor, Rather Than the Whole Kidney

A surgical technology called Firefly is shedding new light on kidney cancers and helping doctors at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital remove tumors more safely and more efficiently while sparing the rest of the healthy kidney.

“The addition of Firefly fluorescence during robotic surgery improves our ability to remove kidney tumors when before we might have had to remove the whole kidney,” said Keith Kowalczyk, MD, urologist and robotic surgeon.

“Firefly, which essentially utilizes a dye that lights up in “firefly green” when using a specialized fluoroscopic camera, can show us the difference between cancerous and healthy tissue and helps us see the blood supply to the tumor. It lights up parts of the kidney and its blood supply we couldn’t see this well before.”

This new innovation uses the minimally-invasive precision of the da Vinci Surgical System, and adds the second component of Firefly fluorescence imaging. MedStar Georgetown is one of the first hospitals in the DC region to use this new technology.

When Eugene Carter of Washington, D.C. was diagnosed with kidney cancer, the decision to have robotic surgery by Dr. Kowalczyk while utilizing fluorescence imaging seemed the obvious choice.

“I’m 70, and with advanced age the hazards of surgery can increase, so I wanted the least invasive surgery possible,” explained Mr. Carter. “The robotics provide more steadiness and precision, and I wanted my surgeon to be as steady and as precise as possible. It seems to me this is just a much wiser system.”

How does it work? The Firefly technology uses near-infrared imaging to detect an injected tracer dye of indocyanine green (ICG) in the blood.

During surgery, urologists use the Firefly system at three different stages of the procedure. The first injection of the dye into the IV by the anesthesiologist gives a detailed picture of the blood supply to the kidney.

“Up to 25-percent of patients might have extra renal arteries that are not always obvious on a CT scan or MRI, so the Firefly can help us see these arteries. This helps us ensure that all of the blood supply to the kidney is accounted for and controlled prior to the removal of the tumor, and can therefore decrease blood loss,” explained Dr. Kowalczyk.

The second injection of dye helps the surgeon differentiate between the cancerous tissue and the normal kidney tissue, which can allow for better tumor removal and potentially a lower risk of leaving any cancer behind. Finally, after the tumor has been removed and the kidney has been repaired, the dye can again be injected again to ensure that the blood supply to the kidney has been properly restored.

Besides the known benefits of robotic minimally-invasive surgery—including smaller incisions, less blood loss, less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays, and earlier returns to work—the addition of the Firefly system can improve patient outcomes even further.

“Additionally, the ability to better distinguish between tumor tissue and normal kidney tissue may lead to a lower risk of leaving any tumor behind, and therefore better long-term cancer control,” said Dr. Kowalczyk.

According to the American Cancer Society, kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers among both men and women. The ACS estimates that about 64,770 new cases of kidney cancer will occur in 2012, and about 13,570 people will die from the disease.

“I’m so glad I was able to keep my kidney,” said Mr. Carter. “Without this new system, my kidney might not have been able to be saved.”

Marianne Worley | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

nachricht Breakthrough in Mapping Nicotine Addiction Could Help Researchers Improve Treatment
04.10.2016 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>