Friday, 02 Nov 2012
UK device offers cancer diagnosis hope
Q-Cancer is designed to accurately identify cancerous cells using DNA samples from a tumour.
It is being developed by QuantuMDx in collaboration with researchers from Newcastle University and Sheffield University.
Scientists say the device, which is roughly the size of a laptop, could help doctors to diagnose cancer faster and with more accuracy.
It is hoped it could help prolong lives by allowing surgeons to immediately remove cancerous tumours and allowing specialists to prescribe the right type of treatment for individual patients.
Q-Cancer uses advanced nanotechnology to analyse tiny amounts of tissue. This allows doctors to establish the type of cancer present, its genetic make-up and how far it has progressed.
Newcastle University Professor Sir John Burn, who is also the Medical Director of QuantuMDx, said the device could deliver "complex DNA tumour testing to the routine pathology lab or even to the operating theatre".
He added: "A low cost cassette 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."
QuantuMDx Chief Executive Elaine Warburton said sending tumour samples to a laboratory for analysis can mean it takes several weeks to get a result.
The new technology can break up a sample and extract the DNA in under five minutes, representing "a world first for complex molecular diagnostics", she added.
© Press Association 2012