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Intraoperative Surgical Probes: Project Synopsis

The Project to Assist Tumor Surgery with Intraoperative Beta/Gamma Probes

The Detector and Imaging Group is collaborating with Hampton University (Dr. Cynthia Keppel, PI), Duke University (Dr. Martin Tornai, co-PI), and East Carolina Medical School (Dr. Lorraine Tafra, co-PI) on a project to improve pre- and intra- operative detection of cancerous lesions before and during surgeries by using special imaging and non-imaging radiation probes. The Detector and Imaging Group built several intraoperative prototypes of positron probes to be used with the known oncological agent, FDG, which is a glucose labeled with F-18 positron emitter. The latest beta (positron) probe prototype based on a single crystal scintillator and a small photomultiplier was successfully used twice in a melanoma cancer removal last year in East Carolina Medical School by Dr. Tafra. The standard gamma probe failed to localize the lesion. The concept of the beta/gamma probe designed in the Detector and Imaging Group was submitted for a patent. Imaging probe prototypes are also under development.