New tech offers rapid cancer detection

March 27, 2018 04:14 PM

(WEAU) Scientists and researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have created a new device which can detect cancer by just a touch in seconds.

They developed a new pen, called the MasSpec pen, which can detect cancer of the breast, thyroid, lung, ovaries and brain with over 95 percent accuracy, based on an initial test of more than 250 patient tissue samples. 

Director of Surgical Services at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, Stacey Powell, sees new technology for cancer all the time, but warns people that you should always be cautious of new technologies to ensure safety. 

"When something new like that comes out, it needs to be validated that the results that they're finding and the answers that they're getting are going to be safe for the patient," said Powell.

Researchers say this device would be much quicker than the current process. Conventional methods for tissue diagnosis are time and labor intensive and can delay decision making during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. 

The pen is not FDA approved yet. The research group says the next step will be to conduct clinical trials with the pen during surgeries.

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