Duke University Bioengineers Detect Pre-Cancerous Colon Cells with Light

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Earlier this year, bioengineers at Duke University found that light sensors can detect esophageal cancer. They have now found that the same light sensors can also detect pre-cancerous cells in the colon, according to a Duke University Pratt School of Engineering news release.

Instead of taking random tissue samples, physicians use an endoscope from which short bursts of light search areas suspected of having pre-cancerous cells. When the light hits the tissue, it scatters, and physicians can look for abnormalities to detect dysplasia.

The team has developed a technology called angle-resolved low coherence interferometry which shines light into a cell. Sensors capture and analyze the reflected light. The technology separates the patterns of the nucleus from other parts of the cell and can provide representations of shape changes.

In a clinical study, the system was 85 percent accurate when compared to pathological findings. The system was 86 percent accurate for pinpointing Barrett's esophagus.

Related Articles about Colon Cancer:
40% of Medicare Cancer Screenings Are "Medically Unnecessary"
Women Can Wait Longer Than Men to Start Colonoscopies, Study Finds
Poll Finds Low Follow-up Screening Rates for Colon Cancer


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