Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


The Sound of Melanoma Can Help Doctors Find Cancer

Photoacoustics technology could make some lab processes more efficient, says MU researcher

Knowing the stage of a patient’s melanoma is important when choosing the best course of treatment. When the cancer has progressed to the lymph nodes, a more aggressive treatment is needed.

Examining an entire lymph node for cancer takes much effort and time; a new technique might help make the process more efficient. University of Missouri researchers in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center are studying how photoacoustics, or a laser-induced ultrasound, could help scientists locate the general area of the lymph node where melanoma cells could be residing. This new technology could help doctors identify the stage of melanoma with more accuracy.

“This method can be used to determine if the cancer has spread from stage 2, where the melanoma is still just in the skin lesion, to stage 3, where the melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes,” said John Viator, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Engineering[1] and Department of Dermatology[2]. “If the cancer is still at stage 2, a simple procedure can remove that lesion. If the cancer has progressed from the initial skin lesion into the lymphatic region and possibly the bloodstream, doctors have to make serious decisions about patient care. The cancer may have possibly spread to other organs, such as the liver, lungs or brain.”

Currently, pathologists must perform several specific and detailed tests to determine if there is cancer in the lymph nodes. This new technology could make the search less time-consuming by identifying a general area of the lymph node that might contain cancer.

“It’s very similar to identifying a prize inside a cake,” Viator said. “Instead of looking through the entire cake, we can use our ultrasound to pinpoint a slice or two that might contain the ‘prize.’ In the case of the lymph nodes, when you get a signal, this alerts the pathologist that this is an area of the node that might contain cancer cells. At that point, a pathologist would be able to narrow down the search, saving time and money.”

In the photoacoustic method, a tabletop device scans a lymph node biopsy with laser pulses. About 95 percent of melanoma cells contain melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color, so they react to the laser’s beam, absorbing the light. The laser causes the cells to heat and cool rapidly, which makes them expand and contract. This produces a popping noise that special sensors can detect. This method would examine the entire biopsy and identify the general area of the node that has cancer, giving pathologists a better idea of where to look for the cancer.

“This method is quicker and simpler and could be used to improve the efficiency of how doctors determine if the cancer has spread from the original skin lesion into the lymphatic system,” Viator said. “This technology could be an important tool in our fight against cancer.”

In the study, Viator took human cancer cells and placed them inside canine lymph nodes. Then, using the laser, he determined the best ways to locate the cancer cells. The next step is to try the procedure using human lymph nodes.

The study, “Photoacoustic Detection of Melanoma Micrometastatis in Sentinel Lymph Nodes,” was published in the Journal of Biomedical Engineering.

Kelsey Jackson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Cancer Sound cancer cells lymph node melanoma melanoma cells new technology skin lesion

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

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: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Deep down fracking wells, microbial communities thrive

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>