Cancer blog: Ligt That Seeks Cancer Cells
Image courtesy of Optics Express
The team has reported the first clinically practical version of their "angle-resolved low coherence interferometry" (a/LCI) technology designed to diagnose incipient cancer in the esophagus. Adam Wax, professor of biomedical engineering at the Pratt School, and graduate student John Pyhtila, lead author of the study, reported tests of their device in the March 15, 2006, Optics Letters. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
Preliminary results of a further study of the latest a/LCI device in human esophageal tissue look promising, Wax said. The next step will be to test the device in human trials.
In principle, the scientists said their technology could be adapted to detect pre-malignant cells on the surfaces of any organ, where the disease most often begins.
"The majority of all cancers - some 80 percent - start in the epithelium," Wax said. "Fiber-optic probes have the potential to test for early evidence of cancer in seconds, providing biopsy-type information without removing tissue. They could also serve as a guide to biopsy, directing physicians to suspicious sites to increase the likelihood that cancer will be detected." Biopsy surveillance in the esophagus removes tissue at random, he said.
Acid reflux can lead to changes in the esophageal lining as the organ attempts to adapt to acids normally limited to the stomach, a condition called Barrett's esophagus, he explained. The condition raises the risk of esophageal cancer, and patients are generally tested for cancer periodically through random biopsy.
Prior studies by Wax's team used a/LCI to identify pre-cancer in animal tissue. Typically pre-malignant cells are characterized by an enlarged nucleus, the structure that houses the cell's genetic material. It is such cellular changes that pathologists rely on to identify cancer in biopsied tissue, Wax said. Read more...... Source
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Cancer is a very common disease, approximately one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some type of cancer at some point during the course of their life. Cancer is more common in the elderly and 77 percent of cancers occur in people above age 55 or older. Cancer is also common in children. Cancer incidence is said to have two peaks once during early childhood and then during late years in life. No age period is completely exempted from development of cancers. Some cancers occur predominantly in the elderly, other types occur in children, Cancer occurs in all ethnic races, however the cancer rates and rates of specific cancer types may vary from group to group. Late stages of cancer may be incurable in most cases, but with the advancement of medicine, more and more cancers are becoming curable
Cancer blog: Ligt That Seeks Cancer Cells
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