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Stanford University School of Medicine

Gold particles light the way for brain surgeons: Adam de la Zerda presents at TEDxStanford

Knowing what to cut and what to keep is one of the hardest decisions a surgeon faces when excising cancer from a patient’s brain. In this kind of surgery, cutting too little could leave deadly cancer cells behind, while cutting too much could remove irreplaceable pieces of brain tissue.

With stakes this high, it’s essential to identify healthy and cancerous cells correctly. Yet, until recently, there was no way for doctors to see which cells are cancerous during surgery.

After brain cancer took the life of his friend, Adam de la Zerda, PhD, a Stanford biologist and electrical engineer, resolved to find a way to make cancer treatments more successful. In his recent talk at TEDxStanford, de la Zerda described his cancer research and how his lab is using injected gold particles to ‘flag’ cancerous cells for removal during surgery.

Previously: Building a concussion-proof helmet: A Stanford bioengineer shares his findings at TEDxStanfordDrew Endy discusses the potential to program life and future of genetic engineering at TEDxStanford and A spotlight on TEDxStanford's "awe-inspiring" and "deeply moving" talks
Video courtesy of TEDxStanford

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