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Home > News > Catch Cancer: Now nano-technology can help us detect cancers in a jiffy

March 12th, 2011

Catch Cancer: Now nano-technology can help us detect cancers in a jiffy

Abstract:
The first step in treating cancer is to catch the disease early. Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult step. The standard method is to take a tissue sample and put it under a microscope, but this method works only if we have a suspect in the first place and needs skilled pathologists. You could also take the patient's blood and screen it for many known markers, but they may give false alarms and so are not definitive tests. Now, there is hope for cancer patients: many new-generation tests based on nanotechnology are about to make their way into the market.

Here are two examples. Scientists from the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have developed a handheld device that can detect gastric cancers in one hour with 96 per cent accuracy. This is not unlike the tissue sampling method, but the difference is the increased accuracy due to automation involved. At the University of California in Los Angeles, scientists are using nanotechnology to identify and collect circulating tumour cells that play a major role in the metastasis — spreading of the disease in the body — of cancer. Both results were published early this week.

Source:
businessworld.in

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