Navigation Links
Light-based probe 'sees' early cancers in first tests on human tissue

In its first laboratory tests on human tissue, a light-based probe built by researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering almost instantly detected the earliest signs of cancer in cells that line internal organs.

If the preliminary success of the "optical biopsy" is confirmed through clinical trials, such a device could ultimately provide a particular advantage for early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of many types of cancer, according to the researchers. The vast majority of cancers start in the body's epithelial cells, which line the mucous membranes in the lungs, esophagus and gut.

"About 85 percent of all cancers start in the epithelium. It may be, for example, brain cancer that causes a patient's death, but that cancer might have originated in the colon or other site of epithelial tissue," said Adam Wax, professor of biomedical engineering. "Being able to detect pre-cancer in epithelial tissues would therefore help prevent all types of cancer by catching it early, before it has a chance to develop further or spread."

In some instances, the technique, known as "fa/LCI" (frequency-domain angle-resolved low coherence interferometry), might ultimately enable doctors and their patients to avoid removal of tissue for biopsy, Wax said. In other instances, he added, fa/LCI could help physicians pinpoint suspicious cells during a traditional biopsy procedure, making it less likely for a cancerous lesion to escape detection.

Wax and his former graduate student John Pyhtila reported in the March 2007 issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy that their fiber-optic device reliably differentiated between healthy and precancerous digestive tissue taken from the stomach and esophagus of three patients known to have a precancerous form of a condition called Barrett's esophagus. In less than a second, their fa/LCI-enhanced version of an endoscope, instruments used to visualize internal organs, provided the clinical information required for diagnosis.

The work was supported by the National Cancer Institute and the National Science Foundation.

"Our initial study is very promising," Wax said of the findings. "We looked at tissue removed from just a handful of patients and were able to get 100 percent sensitivity. We could detect pre-cancer in the esophagus and distinguish it from normal tissue like you would find in the stomach."

The fa/LCI device detects irregularities in the nucleus, or central component, of cells, through changes in the way laser light scatters. "The size and shape of cell nuclei are powerful indicators of this precancerous condition called dysplasia, which literally means 'bad growth'," Wax said. "Typically, nuclei are a fairly consistent size. However, when you go down the road toward cancer, you get irregular and enlarged cell nuclei.

"Our device lets us measure those changes with much better accuracy than any imaging technique," Wax said.

His team plans to begin a small clinical trial of the advanced endoscope in collaboration with researchers at Duke University Medical Center. The team also is conducting animal studies to test the feasibility of incorporating fa/LCI into instruments for examining the colon, lung and other organs. Based on a study in hamsters, Wax and Duke postdoctoral researcher Kevin Chalut reported in the February 2007 issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention that the technique might also be used in the identification of early lung cancer.

Wax said he and his colleagues have launched a company, called Oncoscope, to pursue the commercial development of fa/LCI devices. If all goes well, a new and improved endoscope might be ready for the clinic in three to five years, he said.


'"/>

Source:Duke University


Related biology news :

1. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
2. Self-assembled nano-sized probes allow Penn researchers to see tumors through flesh and skin
3. Products containing specific probes for detecting alternative splice forms protected
4. Duke engineers develop new 3-D cardiac imaging probe
5. Agilent Technologies releases probe sequence, annotation information for all its commercial gene expression microarrays
6. A probe, not an echo
7. NASA probe could reveal comet life, scientists claim
8. Montreal researchers probe the genetic basis of memory
9. MBL researchers probe how an ancient microbe thrives and evolves without sex
10. Smart nanoprobes light up disease
11. Magnetic probe successfully tracks implanted cells in cancer patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/13/2017)... SANTA MONICA, Calif. , April 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... New York will feature emerging and ... Innovation Summits. Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the ... variety of speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on ... east coast,s largest advanced design and manufacturing event will ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , leading ... component of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® ... security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 ... secured over 15 million users across the financial services ... home product suites and physical access represent a growing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... They call ... complex biological network, a depiction of a system of linkages and connections so ... PhD, associate professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and director ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... BioMedGPS announces expanded coverage of SmartTRAK ... module, US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US Market for Hemostats and Sealants ... sealants and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. BioMedGPS estimates the market will ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity ... for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient ... Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this week. ... among health care professionals to enhance the patient care experience ... and other health care professionals to help women who have ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: