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Monday, March 14, 2011

Mobile phones can now to Detect Cancer

In the near future, there may be an application that lets you easily detect cancer. Researchers have created a tiny device, which with the help of a smartphone, in 1 hour can determine whether the suspicious lump in the body of a cancer patient is dangerous or benign. 
Previously, oncologists typically use a thick needle to take some cells from the lump for analysis in the lab. However, the test generally takes several days and sometimes can not provide a definite conclusion. 

To that end, Ralph Weissleder, scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, United States, to develop nuclear magnetic resonance machine (NMR), small, tool that allows researchers to identify chemical compounds with knowing their reaction in a magnetic field.
 

They also found a way to melemapirkan magnetic nanoparticles to proteins so that the engine can choose a particular protein such as those found in tumor cells.
 

Standard NMR machines commonly used in chemistry lab has the size of a closet. However, using technology developed, the tool only has a size of a cup of coffee.
 

To find out how this new tool can be used in clinical cancer, the MGH researchers used a standard procedure to take suspicious cells from the patient's body.
 

They then label the cells with magnetic nanoparticles are designed to be attached to proteins associated with cancer cell and inject it into a mini NMR machines that have been made.
 

The device, which output data can be read by the smartphone's applications, detecting nine proteins to look for cancer cells.
 

By combining four of the nine results of research on these proteins, the MGH team succeeded in diagnosing biopsy 48 of 50 patients in less than 1 hour per patient.
 

According to a report published in Science Translational Medicine, the diagnosis of micro NMR is also 100 percent accurate when examining the other 20 patients examined. For comparison, standard pathology tests on similar samples only reached the level of accuracy between 74 to 84 percent.
 

Weissleder hope, they have developed devices that allow doctors to take samples from the patient, try to test, and notify the results when the patient regained consciousness. "Currently, patients come for a biopsy test, go home, and wait several days to know the results," Weissleder said, as quoted from Science, February 24, 2011.
 

"Patients experiencing a difficult period while awaiting the results of whether they have cancer or not," says Weissleder. "In addition, this method also could cut repeat biopsy examination is generally a cost of up to thousands of dollars," he said.


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