Cancer is a destructive disease which can significantly shorten a person’s lifespan. Therefore, during surgery, doctors should make sure they take everything out, and not omit any possible tissue which could be a malignant growth. Therefore, a team of researchers from the University of Texas devised a method to detect cancerous tumors during surgery.
The pen can tell if a tissue is cancerous or not
Identifying other possible tumors while performing cancer surgery is not an easy task, but the life of the patient might depend on it. Therefore, researchers thought of creating a device to help doctors on this tough quest. This device, called MasSpec Pen, can tell if a tissue is cancerous or not in about ten seconds.
Therefore, as surgeons are taking out cancerous tumors they are already aware of, they can take this pen and test other strange-looking tissues. The device will help them find out if they have to take out more tissue than they previously thought. This is a great method, as they don’t have to perform surgery again on the patient, in case another tumor is discovered.
Accuracy increases for bigger samples of tissue
The pen functions in quite an easy way. It lets off a drop of water, which can be shed over the tissue in question. Then, this drop of water extracts molecules from the tissue, which are analyzed by a spectrometer present in the pen. A few seconds later, the analysis is complete, and doctors can find out if they stumbled upon another malignant tumor.
Researchers have managed to test the pen on 253 samples of tissue, and the results have been impressive. The testing returned a 96 percent accuracy rate, which is really close to showing the device is foolproof. However, the pen worked better on bigger samples, and researchers are now trying to create a newer version to deal with smaller samples as well.