During surgery, tumor tissue is
often difficult to identify. As a consequence, the surgeon can have
difficulties with deciding which tissue should be removed and which
tissue can be spared. If tumor tissue is left in the patient during
surgery, a patient requires additional treatment after surgery. On
the other hand, when healthy tissue is removed unnecessary this can
cause avoidable morbidity and poor cosmetic result.
At the NKI-AvL, we developed and
implemented a concept called image-guided surgery to improve
surgical outcome in oncology. This innovative approach is
concentrated around the three sequential steps within the surgical
A surgical electromagnetic
navigation system guides the surgeon with high accuracy towards the
location of the tumor tissue, while visualizing vital structures
around the tumor. This allows the surgeon to find the tumor
avoiding damage to critical structures.
Tumor treatment (surgical resection)
Smart surgical instruments with
integrated optical technology in the tip of the instruments are
used to characterize the tissue around the tumor. This enables to
discriminate healthy tissue from tumor tissue in areas where the
surgeon is unsure about the nature of the tissue.
Assessment of tumor treatment
Directly after tumor resection, the
tissue is assessed with hyperspectral and multispectral cameras in
the operation room. This to ensure that the margins of the resected
tissue are free of tumor. If tumor tissue is present at the margin
of the removed tissue, an additional resection can performed
These technologies have been
successfully translated - in close collaboration with Technical
University Twente and commercial partners - from bench to bedside.
Some techniques are currently introduced into the surgical
workflow, while others are being evaluated within a broad range of
surgical procedures and tested for efficacy and
Image Guided Surgery group
For more information about the
image guide surgery group, click here.
There are numerous research
projects available for students, all aimed to tackle the described
shortcomings in cancer surgery by the application of image