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Cancer-Finding Spray Lights Up Tiny Hidden Tumors MRIs Can Miss (VIDEO)

Green Glowing Cancer Spray

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 11/28/11 03:27 PM ET Updated: 11/28/11 03:33 PM ET

Japanese scientists are shedding new light on tiny, hidden tumors that might otherwise go unseen by the eyes of surgeons and even magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) with a new spray that makes the carcinomas glow fluorescent green.

According to Euronews, the spray reacts with an enzyme to create the color on the surface of cancerous cells.

The process causes the cancerous cells to glow more than 20 times brighter than the surrounding cells, according to SmartPlanet.

So far, the spray has been tried on human ovarian cancer cells in vitro and in mice. But the Nature news blog is reporting that researchers are now testing the spray on tumor specimens from humans and, potentially, for use with colon, liver, gastric and other cancers.

At this point, researchers say they have yet to identify any serious side-effects resulting from the spray.

While this process may be the quickest method yet developed, it's not the first time scientists have experimented with making cancer cells glow. Earlier this month, scientists began testing a technique to make brain tumors glow. That process, however, requires patients to take a drug that causes "a build-up of fluorescent chemicals in the tumour, making it glow pink."

WATCH: (WARNING: The video below is not for the squeamish, as it depicts researchers examining a dissected lab mouse.)

WATCH: (Euronews' report on the spray)

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