5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)–induced fluorescence of neoplastic tissue is known to occur in a number of high-grade gliomas. This fluorescence helps surgeons maximize safe resection by distinguishing previously indiscernible neoplastic tissue from brain parenchyma. Still, the effectiveness of 5-ALA has not been fully explored for all central nervous system tumors. Consequently, the full spectrum of tumors that would benefit from fluorescence-guided surgery using 5-ALA is unknown.
This report describes successfully utilizing 5-ALA to achieve complete resection of a recurrent anaplastic pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (APXA).
APXA tumor cells accumulate sufficient amounts of 5-ALA and its fluorescent metabolite to produce visible intraoperative fluorescence. However, further investigation is needed to determine if 5-ALA fluorescent labeling routinely occurs in patients with APXAs.