The world’s first device that can diagnose cancer in just 20 minutes and identify the correct drug required is being developed by British scientists. The ‘tumour profiler’ device will allow doctors, nurses and even pharmacists to quickly identify all known types of cancer.
Researchers hope the device will be used in the UK within the next three years, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported. The device has been invented as part of a partnership between private firm QuantuMDx, Newcastle University and Sheffield University. Scientists claim the Q-Cancer device will have a dramatic impact on the rapid and accurate diagnosis of cancer. It has the potential to prolong the lives of the 12 million newly diagnosed cancer sufferers around the world, the manufacturer claims. It will enable surgeons to immediately remove most of the tumours and allow them to prescribe the correct treatment regime according to the type of cancer developed.
The device makes use of advanced nanotechnology, analysing submicroscopic amounts of tissue to work out the type of cancer, its genetic make-up and how far it has developed. “We have a world leading position to deliver complex DNA tumour testing to the routine pathology lab or even to the operating theatre,” said researcher John Burn from the Newcastle University. “A low-cost device requiring no technical expertise will extract, amplify and analyse tumour DNA to make sure the patient gets the right treatment first time and without delay,” he said.
“Currently tumour samples are sent away to a centralised sequencing laboratory, which can take several weeks to turnaround results, usually at a very high price which is not routinely affordable to many economies,” Chief executive Elaine Warburton said. “As far as we are aware, QuantuMDx’s current underlying technologies, which can break up a sample and extract the DNA in under five minutes represents a world first for complex molecular diagnostics.” Warburton said.
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