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Many brain cancer patients turn to Moffitt Cancer Center to benefit from the expertise of our multispecialty team, our individualized approach to cancer treatment and our leading-edge surgical techniques, including 5-ALA guided tumor resection. By causing cancerous cells to fluoresce, 5-ALA helps our surgeons better visualize the boundaries of invasive brain tumors when surgically removing them.

Advantages of 5-ALA Treatment

The goal of brain cancer resection is the maximum safe extraction of the solid portion of the tumor. Because gliomas tend to be highly diffuse and infiltrative, it can be challenging for a surgeon to remove every cancerous cell. However, studies suggest that in most cases approximately 99% of the glioma is contained within the solid mass. Therefore, by enhancing the surgeon’s ability to clearly visualize the boundaries of the tumor, 5-ALA-guided tumor resection can provide a tremendous advantage. The result is a more precise and complete removal, and ultimately, a better outcome and quality of life for the patient.

When is 5-ALA Used?

5-ALA is most used in the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM), formally known as glioblastoma multiforme.  These tumors can be found anywhere in the brain or spinal cord, but they most frequently develop in the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebrum.

According to clinical trials for 5-ALA, the whole tumor mass was successfully removed in 70.5% of cases when patients were given 5-ALA before surgery. This is a noticeable improvement from complete tumor mass removal in 30% of patients who didn’t receive 5-ALA beforehand.

Better Results Start with Advanced Cancer Treatment Options

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 surgeries for glioblastoma. As such, they have acquired extensive expertise in treating even the most challenging types of brain cancer.

When you refer your patient to Moffitt, you will be entrusting his or her care to a diverse team of specialists who will collaboratively design an individualized treatment plan to meet his or her unique needs. Because we perform a high volume of surgeries, our neurosurgeons have acquired extensive skills and experience in utilizing 5-ALA-guided tumor resection and other complex techniques. In addition to the very latest therapies, we also offer our patients a full range of compassionate supportive care services to help them navigate their cancer journey more comfortably and effectively.

If you recently diagnosed a patient with GBM or suspect they may have some form of brain cancer, refer them to Moffitt. We prioritize timely service and respond to most referral requests in less than 48 hours.