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Mayo Clinic estimates new, tiny, super-sensitive probe could cut colon polyp removal in half
Date:10/7/2008

been a great way to determine if a polyp is dangerous, but because half of these growths are not dangerous, we are seeking an equally effective and more efficient way to determine who is at risk of colon cancer," says the study's lead research fellow, Anna M. Buchner, M.D., who will present the results.

The pCLE system is a fiber-optic probe 2 millimeters in diameter that can be passed through a normal endoscope and can see structures as small as 1 micron, such as single cells or the nucleus within a cell. "This is essentially a miniaturized microscope that can be placed inside the body, so the tissue doesn't need to be removed and placed under a traditional microscope," Dr. Wallace says. The pCLE system, which was developed by Mauna Kea Technologies (Paris, France), was tested against the Fujinon color enhancement system (FICE), which uses optical filters to look at a larger area of tissue. "This is like looking at the forest using FICE or the trees with pLCE," Dr. Wallace says.

A total of 57 polyps from 38 patients were examined. The FICE technique correctly diagnosed 41 of 57 polyps as benign, whereas pLCE picked up 51 of the benign lesions.

The researchers believe that the best use of these advanced technologies is to use FICE to provide a first look at suspicious areas of a colon during a colonoscopy and then to use pCLE to zero in on polyps in question.

"These new probes will change how colonoscopies and other procedures using endoscopes will be done in the future," says Dr. Buchner. "We will be able to perform real-time virtual biopsies, which will be more efficient in every way." One major advantage is that the pCLE system allows doctors to make a specific diagnosis at the time of the procedure and thus go directly to treatment instead of waiting two to three days for biopsy results to return. This should allow patients to avoid repeat procedures, Dr. Wallace says.


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Contact: Kevin Punsky
punsky.kevin@mayo.edu
904-953-2299
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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