Imaging Approach to Detect Lung Cancer Earlier, Study Reveals

Lung CancerLung cancer is the third most common type of cancers in the United States, according to the Cancers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new study has found a new way for identification of lung cancer at cellular level during biopsy. The research has been published in Nature Communications and is conducted by team of Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

In this research, the team examined human cancer cells from patients with smoking history. They firstly took the cancer cells and then grew them with normal cells with the purpose to see how a small cell could be identified. The team found out that by integrating the technologies, they were able to detect cancer at cellular level in real time in various preclinical models such as in culture, small animal models and human tissue from patients undergoing surgery for lung cancer. This new technology is called NIR-nCLE as it combines cancer-targeted near-infrared tracer with needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy system.

The research helps in increasing the possibility of being able to identify and diagnose lesions that could be cancerous, including very small cells.

“The emerging ability to light up a single cell that may be invisible to the eye provides great opportunity to give patients the best chance at an early diagnosis before cancer spreads,” said Gregory T. Kennedy, MD,a resident in General Surgery at Penn. “This unique approach has the potential to improve the information we get from biopsies and it may increase our chances of identifying cancer early.”

Such methods aim to find microscopic nodules which can offer great precision in identification and cancer cells as well as their removal. The team hopes that this approach could help with earlier diagnosis of other cancer types as well.

The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only and is certainly not a medical advice. For any health issues, please consult your medical practitioner immediately.

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