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Open cancer surgery set to become a thing of the past
Date:9/24/2008

ple by using tumour seekers that emit particles and destroy the tumour on the spot. If this kind of treatment only reaches the tumour and avoids harming healthy tissue, it will make this method superior to proton therapy.

U-SPECT

At Delft University of Technology, Beekman will focus particularly on improving medical instruments, such as the U-SPECT scanner he developed himself. This Ultra-high resolution Single Photon Emission Computed Tomographer has significant advantages over other scanning techniques. The challenge is now to make the U-SPECT more precise and more versatile and use it to create better tumour seekers. The U-SPECT is now only available for use with small laboratory animals, but a version for humans is in the design phase. The diagnosis and treatment of cancer could, according to Beekman, be greatly improved by sharper SPECT images of patients. Various tracers mean that metastases, for example, are visible more quickly. We also hope that the effectiveness of chemotherapy can be seen very soon after beginning treatment by using the right tumour seekers, or even stop therapy with little chance of success from being started at all.

Medical Delta

'The current quest for more efficient medical screening therapies, radiotherapy and tumour seekers is gradually leading towards better treatments for cancer,' says Beekman. 'Progress is gradual and it must be said that there are still a number of technical obstacles. But on the other hand, the type of instrumentation we are talking about here is not always rocket science. The problems we face are mostly not insurmountable.'

Improved technology means that we still have a hope of success in the detection and treatment of cancer. Beekman says it is important that hospitals and engineers work closely together.


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Contact: Frank Nuijens
f.w.nuijens@tudelft.nl
31-152-784-259
Delft University of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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