1. Light Can Detect Pre-Cancerous Colon Cells

    Light Can Detect Pre-Cancerous Colon Cells
    DURHAM, N.C. – After demonstrating that light accurately detected pre-cancerous cells in the lining of the esophagus, Duke University bioengineers turned their technology to the colon and have achieved similar results in a series of preliminary experiments. This technology could be a non-invasive way for physicians to detect abnormal cells, or dysplasia, which have the potential of turning cancerous. These cells are in the epithelium, or lining, of various tissues, including the esophagus and colon. Current biopsy techniques require physicians to take many random tissue samples, and for some disorders of the colon, these procedures can be disfiguring and life-changing ...
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    1. When light is directed at these tissues, it scatters...We can collect and analyze that scattered light looking for the tell-tale signs of dysplasia. Significantly, the technique is noninvasive so no tissue is taken and no dyes or contrast agents are needed...The important thing for clinicians is being able to detect these changes in the nuclei in cells just below the surface, which might not be detected by just looking at the lining of the colon through an endoscope alone.
    2. This approach could be the future of diagnosing dysplasia of the colon ...The old-fashioned techniques we use haven’t changed in years. This could be a real game-changer in how we detect, characterize and even treat precancerous or cancerous lesions. For some gastrointestinal biopsies, the procedure itself has inherent risks such as bleeding or perforation, so a non-invasive technique could greatly improve a patient’s quality of life.
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