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Al Jazeera | Dr Robot
How the revolutionary 'firefly' surgery is used on kidney cancer patients.
Director: Hugh Hartford
Producer: Hugh Hartford & Dan Boaden
September 2013

More than 273,000 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer globally each year.


For surgeons, the challenge is to remove potentially deadly kidney cancer tumours while minimising bleeding and doing as little damage as possible to the surrounding healthy tissue. 


Using a revolutionary technique known as ‘firefly’, the patient’s blood is injected with a dye which shows up as fluorescent green under the surgeon’s modified camera.


This helps the surgeon identify often unpredictable blood supply to the kidney and tumour. With blood supply established, the surgeon can accurately halt blood supply to the kidney and tumour – a vital step before the tumour can be removed.


Dr Rafik Bedair travels to St George’s Hospital in south London to see kidney cancer patient Bob Cutts receive this pioneering treatment.

About The Cure

The Cure is an award-winning series exploring solutions to today’s most pressing health problems.


Presented by practicing medics, The Cure takes you on a journey to the frontiers of world health, from cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs to advances in affordable healthcare for those who need it most. This series looks at some of the world’s most intractable health problems and the inspirational people working to find a cure.

Credit List
Producer / Director
Dr Rafik Bedair