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1.  Portable PET probes are a novel tool for intraoperative localization of tumor deposits 
Positron emission tomography (PET) identifies cancer deposits by detecting sites of gamma emissions that are released from radioactively labeled molecules targeting tumor to formulate a PET image. Correlating preoperative PET scans with intraoperative findings remains a challenge. We investigated whether high-energy gamma emissions detected by a novel hand-held PET probe would detect tumors and offer a real-time method to localize tumor intraoperatively. Furthermore, we investigated the novel beta probe, which detects emissions at a shorter range than gamma emissions, making them undetectable by PET scanners, but potentially valuable for close range intraoperative detection of tumor deposits.
Six-to-eight-week-old athymic mice were injected with one of four possible tumor cell lines: gastric, pancreas, squamous cell and breast cancer. After tumors reached at least 1 cm in size, they were euthanized and imaged with a micro-PET imager. Hand-held gamma and beta probes were then used in vivo and ex vivo to measure high-energy gamma and beta emissions.
The portable PET probes detected high-energy gamma and beta emissions from all tumors evaluated. These emissions were reproducible and we established that beta emissions correlate with high-energy gamma emissions and conventional PET scans. There was a strong positive correlation (R = 0.8) between gamma and beta counts. Beta emission showed a stronger correlation than gamma emission with overall tissue radioactivity.
This study is the first to demonstrate that gamma emission detected by conventional PET imaging correlates with beta emissions. This study shows that compared to detection of gamma emissions, beta counts may offer superior real-time localization of tumor deposits. Intraoperative portable PET probe may become a useful way to exploit tumor biology and PET technology to guide real-time tissue characterization during surgery.
PMCID: PMC2649935  PMID: 19232133
2.  Rapid intraoperative insulin assay: a novel method to differentiate insulinoma from nesidioblastosis in the pediatric patient 
Hyperinsulinism is the most common cause of recurrent and persistent hypoglycemia in infancy and childhood. Causes can include nesidioblastosis, pancreatic islet cell tumors such as insulinoma, and associations with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes. Although new, improved imaging techniques have allowed for more precise preoperative localization of insulinomas, the differentiation of nesidioblastosis and insulinoma, particularly in children, can be challenging. To improve intraoperative localization and confirmation of successful resection of insulinoma, a novel hormonal assay, the rapid intraoperative insulin assay, is reported for the first time in a pediatric patient. This intraoperative radioimmunoassay for insulin yields results within several minutes and confirms complete resection of insulinoma.
Case description
We present a case of pancreatic insulinoma in a child with symptoms of severe hypoglycemia, causing seizures. The insulinoma was enucleated laparoscopically, and rapid intra-operative insulin assay used to determine the success of the procedure.
Discussion and evaluation
This rapid intra-operative test provides a valuable adjunct for determining complete excision in complicated cases of recurrent or questionable insulinoma. Although not a common problem, for pediatric patients in whom the diagnosis is not clear, this test may provide a novel approach to confirming disease.
We propose the use of this assay in facilitating intra-operative resection and confirmation of complete excision in pediatric patients. This population may especially benefit from this novel assay to confirm complete resection and to differentiate multiple etiologies of hyperinsulinism.
PMCID: PMC2116998  PMID: 17958895

Results 1-2 (2)