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A new technology for cancer screening listens for the signs of cancer
Date:9/18/2007

ATLANTA Cancer-sensing devices built as cheaply and efficiently as wristwatches using many of the same operating principles could change the way clinicians detect, treat and monitor cancer in patients. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have created an acoustic sensor that can report the presence of small amounts of mesothelin, a molecule associated with a number of cancers including mesothelioma, as they attach to the sensors surface.

According to the researchers, the study is a proof of principle, demonstrating a technique that might work for the detection of nearly any biomarker a collective term for a molecular signal that denotes the presence of disease. They present their findings today in Atlanta, Georgia at the American Association for Cancer Researchs second International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development.

It is one thing to be able to identify biomarkers for a disease, but it is another to be able to find them in blood quickly and easily at very low concentrations, said Anthony Dickherber, a graduate student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. We envision that, one day, doctors can use an array of our sensors as a sort of laboratory in their office, where they could use a quick blood sample to detect or monitor the signs of cancer.

According to Christopher Corso, the other graduate student engaged in the project and an M.D., Ph.D. student, such a device would be a boon to healthcare practice, allowing physicians to screen patients for signs of disease before opting for more expensive or invasive diagnostic techniques. Responding to the growing need for such sensors in both research and clinical practice, Dickherber, Corso and research adviser William D. Hunt, Ph.D., conceived of and developed the ACuRay (pronounced ak-u-r) chip, standing for ACoustic micro-arRay a device that shares more in common with an inexpensive wristwa
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Contact: Greg Lester
lester@aacr.org
267-646-0554
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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