'Pen' Identifies Cancer in 10 Seconds!

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According to the scientists at the University of Texas, a handheld Pen device can identify cancerous tissue in 10 Seconds; They say it could make Surgery to remove a Tumour Quicker, Safer and more Precise.

And they hope it would avoid the "Heartbreak" of leaving any of cancer behind.

Tests, Published in Science Translational Medicine, suggest the Technology is Accurate 96% of the time.

This Handheld Pen Device is called 'The MasSpec Pen' takes advantage of the unique metabolism of the cancer cells.

Their furious drive to grow and spread means their internal chemistry is very different to that of healthy tissue.

The pen is touched on to a suspected cancer and releases a tiny droplet of water.

Chemicals inside the living cells move into the droplet, which is then sucked back up the pen for analysis.

The pen is plugged into a mass spectrometer - a piece of kit that can measure the mass of thousands of chemicals every second.

It produces a chemical fingerprint that tells doctors whether they are looking at healthy tissue or cancer.

The challenge for the medical surgeons is finding the border between cancer and normal tissue.

In some Tumors it is obvious, but in others, the boundary between healthy and diseased tissue can be blurred.

The Pen Device should help the Doctors to ensure none of the Cancer is left behind.

Remove too little tissue, and any remaining cancerous cells will grow into another Tumour. But take too much, and you can cause damage to the patient, particularly in organs such as the brain.

Livia Eberlin, an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Texas, Austin, told the BBC: "What's exciting about this technology is how clearly it meets a clinical need.

"The tool is elegant and simple and can be in the hands of surgeons in a short time."

The MasSpec Pen is the latest attempt to improve the Accuracy of the Surgery.

A team at Harvard are Using Lasers to analyse how much of a brain cancer to remove.

Dr Aine Mc Carthy, from Cancer Research UK, said: "Exciting research like this has the potential to speed up how quickly doctors can determine if a tumour is cancerous or not and learn about its characteristics.

"Gathering this kind of information quickly during surgery could help doctors match the best treatment options for patients sooner."

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