Handheld device identifies cancer within ten seconds
7 Sep 2017
A handheld device created by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) can identify cancerous tissue during surgery within ten seconds, its developers have said.
The MasSpec Pen, which is said to be 150 times faster than exiting technology, is designed to offer surgeons precise diagnostic information about what tissue to cut or preserve, which could help improve treatment and reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.
A full account of the research has been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
UTA assistant professor Livia Eberlin, who designed the study, said: "If you talk to cancer patients after surgery, one of the first things many will say is 'I hope the surgeon got all the cancer out’.
"It's just heartbreaking when that's not the case. But our technology could vastly improve the odds that surgeons really do remove every last trace of cancer during surgery."
In tests on tissues removed from 253 human cancer patients, the MasSpec Pen took roughly ten seconds to provide a diagnosis and was more than 96% accurate, the researchers said.
The technology was also able to detect cancer in marginal regions between normal and cancer tissues that presented mixed cellular composition, the researchers added.
The team expects to start testing its technology during oncologic surgeries in 2018.
James Suliburk, who collaborated on the research, said: "Any time we can offer the patient a more precise surgery, a quicker surgery or a safer surgery, that's something we want to do. This technology does all three. It allows us to be much more precise in what tissue we remove and what we leave behind."
There are no comments on this article, leave a comment below to have your say