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Mayo Clinic researcher details next-era advances in use of scopes for cancer detection
Date:5/4/2010

NEW ORLEANS -- Just as cameras and televisions have been reinvented in the last decade with improved optics, sharpness and brightness, so have the tiny imaging scopes that physicians use to peer into the body's nooks and crannies -- its organs and digestive system.

VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources, including excerpts from an interview with Dr. Michael Wallace describing the research, are available on the Mayo Clinic News Blog (http://newsblog.mayoclinic.org/2010/04/28/hd-medicine/). These materials also are subject to embargo, but may be accessed in advance by journalists for incorporation into stories. The password for this post is: wallaceddw.

And few places in the United States are testing the power of these new endoscopic optics as thoroughly as are researchers at Mayo Clinic. Gastroenterologists at Mayo are pitting multiple high-tech probes against each other to see how well they detect the tiniest precancerous polyp in the colon. They are testing other scopes to search lymph nodes outside of the lung for evidence of micrometastatis -- the spread of cancer cells that can't easily be seen. They are also finding new ways to reduce laborious and painful screening in patients with Barrett's esophagus.

"We can see detail that was unimagined 10 years ago," says Michael Wallace, M.D. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/14266458.html), a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida. "With the newest systems, we can zoom in on a potential problem spot in the colon or esophagus with 1,000-fold magnification, leading to a day when we can perform virtual biopsies on patients -- meaning that we will be able to tell if a lesion is precancerous by looking at it, and if it isn't, we can leave it alone. Now we have to remove anything that looks even slightly suspicious."

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

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