Cancer Can Now Be Identified With A Pen!

Photo: pharm.usf.edu

MasSpec Pen is a potential and a capable device of identifying the cancerous cells in the human body, around 150 times faster than the old technologies.

Samyak Sheth

The MasSpec pen is a piece of wonder! The result of this pen in identifying cancer is 96 times faster and accurate than any other technology. The time it takes to tell the result is  10 seconds.

This pen is symbol of innovation in the world of technologies, as it is a hand held disposable instrument, which while testing for cancer is exclusively precise about the diagnostic information and, also telling which tissue to cut or preserve, giving a helping hand to improve the treatment and reducing the chances of a cancer relapse.

The designer of the study Dr Livia Schiavinato Eberlin said, “If you talk to cancer patients after surgery, one of the first things many will say is ‘I hope the surgeon got all the cancer out’. It’s just heart-breaking when that’s not the case. But our technology could vastly improve the odds that surgeons really do remove every last trace of cancer during surgery.”

The team has conducted tests on the sample of tissues, inclusive of the cancerous ones and the ones that are normal in the breast, lungs, thyroid and ovaries, removed from 253 human cancer patients.

There is a process between the normal tissue and the cancerous tissue called the frozen section analysis. This is altogether a very risky process as removing the cancerous tissue, can later allow the tumours to regrow an, removing a lot of normal tissue can also have harmful effects. People who have breast cancer can have nerve damage, thyroid patients can loose the ability to speak.

The MasSpec Pen | Photo : nbcnews.org

The working procedure of MasSpec Pen is very simple, scientists explained the working structure saying that the molecules and the metabolites in the tissue come to aid. While these terms might sound extremely complicated for a layman, let’s say that by taking a molecular fingerprint of the tissue, an evaluation is done by a software called ‘statistical classifier’. After the Pen completes the diagnostics and its analysis, the word ‘normal’ or ‘cancer’ automatically appears on the screen.

The doctors, while testing the patients have to just hold the pen in near the patients’ tissues, activating the automated analysis using a foot pedal, and then in a few seconds the result is out.

There is also a mass spectrometer in the MasSpec Pen, which has the work of detecting the fingerprints of the thousands of molecules! When the pen releases the drop of water onto the tissue, there are small molecules which migrate inside the water. The water sample is filled with water which is managed by the device.

This Pen test can be costly but compared to the fact that life is priceless, it is  very nominal. In the whole world there are so many people who have cancer, lots of people get affected by cancer, population of people affected by this desease increases everyday. This technology is slated to release during the oncologic surgeries in the year of 2018.

How it is received by doctors is left to see! Also, will the cost be affordable by most patients who are already in enough financial burden?

Samyak Sheth
Samyak Sheth

A traveller and journalist who views the world wearing multi-coloured goggles. He believes that life is to live not to survive.

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