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Moffitt Cancer Center is firmly positioned at the forefront of brain cancer treatment. To facilitate the removal of a glioblastoma - a highly aggressive form of glioma brain cancer - the neurosurgeons in our Neuro-Oncology Program offer an advanced procedure known as 5-ALA fluorescence-guided tumor resection.

Approved by the FDA for brain cancer surgery, 5-ALA technology involves the use of a drug (5-aminolevulinic acid), which is given a few hours before the procedure, and a special microscope equipped with a fluorescence filter. During the 5-ALA guided tumor resection, the cancerous cells take on a luminescent pink color, becoming more visible to the surgeon and therefore easier to precisely remove.

The intricacies of glioblastoma removal

Unlike a solid tumor, a glioblastoma is a diffuse and infiltrative cancer (envision a milk splatter). Many glioblastomas spread extensively throughout multiple regions of the brain. Therefore, glioblastoma removal is highly challenging in that a surgeon must be able to differentiate and capture cancerous cells that have become intermingled with healthy tissues. Using 5-ALA visualization technology, a surgeon can obtain a more complete resection, which can lead to a better outcome and quality of life for the patient.

In addition to working in a state-of-the-art facility and having groundbreaking technology at their fingertips, Moffitt’s neurosurgeons perform a high volume of glioblastoma removal surgeries. As such, they have acquired extensive expertise in treating even the most challenging types of brain cancer.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Michael Vogelbaum, Program Leader, Department of Neuro-Oncology.

If you have questions about 5-ALA guided tumor resection or would like to discuss your glioblastoma removal options with a neuro-oncologist at Moffitt, you can request an appointment by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing our new patient registration form online.