Cancer: early detection possible just by “listening”

Thanks to the scientists at the University of Missouri-Columbia, doctors may now be able to detect cancer cells in the blood — by simply listening for them. The method, called photo-acoustic detection, uses a combination of optic and acoustic technology to cause cells to vibrate. Melanoma cells emit a unique sound during this process that makes them easy to isolate and identify.

This testing method would allow much earlier detection of metastasis, and therefore earlier cancer treatment options and increased survival rates. And as opposed to current testing techniques, this blood test is fast (results in as little as 30 minutes), minimally invasive, and could even be performed as part of a routine exam for high-risk patients.

Right now melanoma is the only type of cancer detectable with this method, and many clinical tests still have to be performed before the results are widely accepted. But so far so good for the future of cancer detection — now how’s that cure coming along?

Author by Rigel Gregg