Florida Hospital has deployed a new high-tech weapon in the fight against brain cancer.
Surgeons are using a Zeiss Pentero 900 surgical microscope with a special sodium fluorescein filter to target brain tumors. When dye is injected into the patient’s bloodstream, the tumor “glows.” The filter allows surgeons to clearly see the tumor as they are removing it.
“It helps us to differentiate the tumor from normal brain, so we can make sure that we take out only the tumor and the whole tumor,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Ravi Gandhi. “We’ve had great results — taking out the whole tumor improves patient survival when dealing with malignant brain tumors.”
Among Dr. Gandhi’s patients is Fred Lee, an author and former Florida Hospital executive. Lee went to his doctor after feeling weak. Eventually tests found a mass in his brain that turned out to be Stage 4 Glioblastoma, an extremely aggressive brain cancer.
“When it was over and I’d come out from the surgery, Dr. Gandhi said, ‘I believe I got every single cell,’” Lee recalled.
“The surgery was on Friday and we went home Sunday,” Lee added. “We just were smothered with good clinical care.”
Since the surgery, Lee has undergone chemotherapy and radiation, and is optimistic about his prognosis.
“We feel extremely fortunate that Dr. Gandhi was on call when we were there,” Lee said. “We’re so thankful for him, and for the technology.”