New Pen Detects Cancer In Just 10 Seconds

Cancer Pen Could Detect Tumors During Surgery in Seconds

Report: Handheld 'pen' device designed to detect cancer cells in seconds

"But our technology could vastly improve the odds that surgeons really do remove every last trace of cancer during surgery", she added.

"One of the greatest challenges a breast cancer surgeon faces is determining the delicate boundary between cancerous and normal tissues".

Frozen Section Analysis is now the preferred method for diagnosing cancers and determining the boundary between cancer and normal tissue during surgery. It will be able to report whether the tissue is cancerous or not. This escalates the risk of infection in a patient.

Also it is hard to interpret some types of cancers using Frozen Section Analysis, leading to unreliable results for 10 to 20 percent of cases.

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Scientists took hundreds of tissue samples from human patients with or without cancer to check the pen efficiency. According to the journal, the accuracy rate is 96%.

The tech detected cancer in marginal regions between the normal tissue and cancerous tissue that have mixed cellular composition.

The instrument can deliver a response in as little as 10 seconds, and in tests involving 253 human tissue samples, it proved to be 96% accurate. "Because the metabolites in cancer and normal cells are so different, we extract and analyze them with the MasSpec Pen to obtain a molecular fingerprint of the tissue", Eberlin told NBC News. The device works by detecting metabolites produced by each type of cancer that are said to be akin to fingerprints. The samples included both normal and cancerous tissues of the breast, lung, thyroid and ovary. The pen may help doctors ensure that none of the cancer is left.

"What is incredible is that through this simple and gentle chemical process, the MasSpec Pen rapidly provides diagnostic molecular information without causing tissue damage", says Eberlin.

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A cancer patient has to go through numerous diagnosis like reviewing health history, Lab (blood, urine, etc) tests, Imaging tests (X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, etc), Endoscopy, Biopsy, and many others.

The researchers believe that their novel creation could help to improve outcomes for patients who undergo cancer surgery.

"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, ' " Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, an assistant professor of chemistry who led the work, said in a statement. A team of scientists and engineers from the University of Texas at Austin has invented a new tool that will make it much easier for a surgeon to tell what tissue is cancerous and what is healthy during a surgery. "It allows us to be much more precise in what tissue we remove and what we leave behind".

The researchers plan to test the MasSpec Pen in human cancer surgeries next year.

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