A biopsy is the only reliable way to diagnose skin cancer, but having good
confidence that a lesion is cancerous before a biopsy can reduce the number of
needless biopsies performed.
A new tool invented by scientists at University of Texas
uses three different mechanisms to image a lesion, potentially providing a new
way to spot suspected tumors. It's currently undergoing pilot clinical trials.
The device utilizes Raman spectroscopy, diffuse reflectance
spectroscopy, and laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy at the same time to
peer into the lesion.
The three combine to aid spot increased oxygen consumption
as the cancerous tissue displays different optical properties from the healthy
stuff around it.
Readings take about five seconds to function using the probe
which is only about the size of a pen. It's connected to a computer that does
the image processing. The probe is cheap to manufacture, so if clinical trials pan
out positively for the new device, the device will hit the medical industry