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Speeding up cancer diagnosis during surgery
Date:9/17/2013

Tissue-conserving cancer surgery is a highly skilled procedure which involves time-consuming tissue preparation to detect the margins of cancerous tissue. The goal is to remove as much of the tumour as possible while sparing healthy tissue.

With funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), experts at The University of Nottingham have developed a highly accurate prototype technique which can produce a detailed 'spectroscopic fingerprint' of each tissue layer removed during surgery. This technique which can produce detailed maps of the tissue rich in information at the molecular level has the potential to speed up and improve the diagnosis of cancer tissue during the operation as well as reduce unnecessary surgery.

The research has been published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the team, led by Dr Ioan Notingher in the School of Physics and Astronomy, are now looking to build an optimised instrument that can be tested in the clinic.

Dr Notingher said: "By refining our prototype instrument to make it more user-friendly and even faster to use. Diagnosis of each tissue layer could be obtained in just a few minutes rather than hours. Such developments have the potential to revolutionise the surgical treatment of cancers. This technology will provide a fast and objective way for surgeons to make sure that all the cancer cells have been removed whilst at the same time preserving as much healthy tissue as possible."

The challenges of tissue-conserving surgery

Typically, skin conserving surgery involves cutting away one thin layer of tissue after another and each layer after another is carefully examined to make sure that all the cancer has been removed. This lengthy process is stopped when only health tissue is left. Successful removal of all cancer cells is the key to achieving lower rates of the cancer returning but there is always a balance
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Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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