A research team from the University of Texas, Austin says that the handheld MasSpec pen could detect the cancerous tissue accurately in just 10 seconds during surgery. They believe that this device has the potential to transform the way that cancer is treated. The findings of this device were reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Surgery is one of the primary strategies for treating cancer, but differentiating between healthy and cancerous tissue proves tricky for surgeons and makes difficult for them to the remove cancer remnants. This MasSpec pen works on a technique called mass spectrometry by identifying the tissue metabolites that are specific to cancer cells. After testing this device on the tissue samples of healthy and cancer patients, the results showed 96.3% accuracy, 96.2% specificity, and 96.4% sensitivity.
The researchers believe that this novel device could help and improve the outcome for the patients who undergo cancer surgery.