An ongoing research project that has just been awarded a substantial grant is working on a device that uses light to detect skin cancers. Why is this a big deal? Because this technology can help patients avoid invasive biopsies. The technology is now in a Phase II clinical trial and the technology is really amazing.
The tip of a pen-size probe emits a weak pulses of light onto skin or tissue and the light pulses are then recaptured by the probe and sent to a computer for analysis. The technology takes a mere second to then offer "cancer or not." Another plus is that you can move the probe around quickly to different areas that need evaluation and again, get quick results. The technology could even be put into an endoscope that would possibly allow doctors to diagnose esophageal cancers.
So this technology will help so many patients to not only avoid sometimes painful biopsies, especially in locations where you don't want even a small scar, AND it offers quick on-the-spot results so the agony of waiting is avoided. Expect to see this technology commercially in about 3-5 years.
Published On: August 19, 2008