Pen Identifies Cancer in 10 Seconds - Dream Health

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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Pen Identifies Cancer in 10 Seconds

Pen

The MasSpec Pen – Device of Identifying Cancerous Tissue

As per scientist at the University of Texas, a handheld device has the potential of identifying cancerous tissue in a matter of 10 seconds. It is said that it could enable surgery in removing a tumour much quicker, safer with accuracy. It is likely that it would save on any anguish of leaving traces of cancer behind. The experiments published in Science Translational Medicine have recommended that the technology tends to be 96% precise.

 The MasSpec Pen is said to take the benefit of the exclusive metabolism of cancer cells. Their frantic drive to develop and spread would mean that their internal chemistry could be different to that of healthy tissue. It operates when the pen is touched to a suspected cancer area and then releases a tiny droplet of water. The chemicals within the living cells is said to transfer into the droplet wherein it is then sucked back up to the pen for analysis.

The pen is said to be plugged in a mass spectrometer which is a bit of a kit that has the capability of measuring the mass of thousands of chemicals each second. It is said to create chemical fingerprint which informs doctors if they are looking at healthy tissue or cancer. 
 

Challenge – Border Between Cancer & Common Tissue

 
Surgeons are faced with the challenge of locating the border between the cancer and common tissue. It tends to be clear in some tumours though in case of others, the boundary seems to be unclear between healthy and diseased tissue. This device could be helpful to doctors in ensuring that no trace of the cancer is left behind in the patient.

The removal of too little tissue and any trace of cancerous cells could develop into another tumour. However taking too much could cause damage, especially in cases of organs like the brain. Assistant professor of chemistry, Livia Eberlin, at the University of Texas, Austin, had informed BBC that `what’s exciting about this technology is how clearly it meets a clinical need. The tool is sophisticated and simple and can be in the hands of surgeons in a short time’. As part of the research, the technology had been verified on 253 samples and the intention is to continue verifying in order to refine the device before conducting tests during operation next year.
 

Modern Endeavour of Improving Precision of Surgery

 

The pen presently is said to examine a patch of tissue 1.5mm across though the researchers have developed pens already which seems to be more advanced and are capable of looking at improved area of tissue just 0.6mm across. The mass spectrometer is said to be costly and large though the pen is quite economical. The MasSpec Pen is considered to be the modern endeavour of improving the precision of surgery.

A team at Imperial College London is said to have created a knife which tends to smell the tissue it cuts in order to define whether it is eliminating cancer. Another team at Harvard have been utilising lasers in analysing how much of a brain cancer can be removed. From Cancer Research UK, Dr Aine McCarthy had stated that `exciting research such as this tends to have the possibility of speeding up on how doctors can determine if a tumour could be cancerous or not and be aware of its characteristics.

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