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Pen can detect cancer in seconds

11 September 2017 09:04

The pen can detect cancerous cells in seconds

The pen can detect cancerous cells in seconds

Researchers have developed a futuristic pen-like device that can tell whether someone has cancer much faster than current technology.

The MasSpec Pen is the work of a team at the University of Texas.

Detects cancer in seconds

Researchers say it can detect cancerous cells in around 10 seconds while also providing precise information to give surgeons a better chance of getting all of the cancer.

Cancers are more likely to return when traces have been left behind during the surgery to remove the tumour.

But then there are potential problems such as nerve damage when surgeons remove excessive healthy tissue around the tumour.

The pen gives precise information about what tissue to cut or preserve.

People who have undergone surgery to remove a tumour can arrange specialist medical travel insurance.

Improves the odds

Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, an assistant professor of chemistry 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."

The study has been published in the Science Translational Medicine journal.