Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Developing New Tool to Detect Cancer

27.08.2008
Early cancer detection can significantly improve survival rates. Current diagnostic tests often fail to detect cancer in the earliest stages and at the same time expose a patient to the harmful effects of radiation.

Led by Dr. Patrick McCann, a small group of internationally known researchers at the University of Oklahoma with expertise in the development of mid-infrared lasers is working to create a sensor to detect biomarker gases exhaled in the breath of a person with cancer.

Proof-of-concept detection of a suspected lung cancer biomarker in exhaled breath has already been established as reported by the Oklahoma group in the July 2007 issue of Applied Optics. The research was inspired by studies showing that dogs can detect cancer by sniffing the exhaled breath of cancer patients.

For example, by smelling breath samples, dogs identified breast and lung cancer patients with accuracies of 88 and 97 percent, respectively, as reported in the March 2006 issue of Integrative Cancer Therapies. The evidence is clear—gas phase molecules are uniquely associated with cancer.

Intrigued by the concept of using breath analysis to detect cancer, McCann saw an opportunity to use mid-infrared laser technology to help elucidate the relationship between specific gas phase biomarker molecules and cancer. He believes it is possible to develop easy-to-use detection devices for cancer, particularly for hard-to-detect cancers like lung cancer. McCann says we need sensors that detect these gas phase cancer biomarkers. “A device that measures cancer specific gases in exhaled breath would change medical research, as we know it.”

McCann says the science and technology exist to support the development of a new tool to detect cancer, but the research will take from five to 10 years to get low-cost devices into the clinic. OU may have the strongest contingent of researchers dedicated to providing a solution to the problem using this approach. Even though studies confirm that dogs can detect cancer by smelling the gases, they can’t tell us what gases they smell. It’s up to the medical research community using the best measurement tools to figure that out.

According to McCann, “Improved methods to detect molecules have been demonstrated, and more people need to be using these methods to detect molecules given off from cancer. We have developed laser-based methods to detect molecules. Mid-infrared lasers can measure suspected cancer biomarkers—ethane, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.” McCann will use nanotechnology to improve laser performance and shrink laser systems, which would allow battery-powered operation of a handheld sensor device.

“You often have to go outside your discipline to pioneer new areas of research and Oklahoma has an advantage with so many experts in other fields. But getting funding for interdisciplinary research is challenging. However, more capital and research infrastructure are needed for this device to become a reality. As we build upon our existing capabilities Oklahoma can become more widely known as a center of excellence in this important area.”

Even though McCann is not a cancer researcher, he wants his research on developing innovative laser technology to benefit the millions of people who would otherwise suffer from a late-stage cancer diagnosis. McCann knows it can be done. He says, “The science supports it, and the dogs tell us there is something there.”

For more information about Dr. Patrick McCann and his research, send an e-mail to pmccann@ou.edu

Jana Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ou.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>