Analyzing childhood brain tumours in 10 seconds

Dr Arash Zarrine-Afsar, CCS-funded researcher

Many children who are diagnosed with a brain tumour must undergo invasive surgery to remove these tumours as part of their cancer treatment. But currently, only limited information is available to neurosurgeons during surgery to help guide how they remove the tumour. It can be difficult to strike the perfect balance between a higher chance of a better outcome by removing the tumour more aggressively, and minimizing side effects by preserving more healthy surrounding tissue.

With your support, Canadian Cancer Society (CCS)-funded researcher Dr Arash Zarrine-Afsar has developed an innovative new method that will allow surgeons to make quick decisions – using a laser that can extract and analyze cancer tissue in just 10 seconds. Having already successfully used this technique on a type of pediatric brain tumour called medulloblastoma, Dr Zarrine-Afsar is now leading a team to adapt this method to work on different types of childhood brain tumours – improving treatment and quality of life for children with brain cancer.