Researchers Say Nano-Technology Could Improve Mesothelioma Diagnosis, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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New research in Germany finds that a new kind of microscopic imaging technology could make mesothelioma diagnosis faster and more efficient.

Further evaluation... could make this illumination nanotechnology and efficient, rapid, onsite diagnostic tool.

In a study published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine and detailed by Surviving Mesothelioma, German scientists say advanced hyperspectral imaging may be the key to improving mesothelioma diagnosis.

Caused by asbestos exposure and affecting an estimated 2,500 Americans each year, mesothelioma is one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose. The symptoms of mesothelioma are often vague and mimic other, less-serious illnesses. And, because these symptoms typically occur decades after asbestos exposure, they may not be immediately associated with the toxic mineral. However, as with most cancers, early diagnosis improves the chances of surviving mesothelioma.

In an effort to improve and speed up the diagnosis of mesothelioma and other lung diseases, the German team tested new nanotechnology from an American company called CytoViva. Acccording to the company, the CytoViva Hyperspectral Imaging System evolved from technology originally developed to analyze aerial images for NASA. On the microscopic scale, the system can create high-contrast images of tissue samples, showing the unique spectral “fingerprint” of each created by nanomaterials (particles smaller than 100 nm).

To function as a diagnostic tool, the system first has to be “taught” to recognize the unique spectral profile of various diseases. The German team used a variety of lung biopsy techniques to obtain tissue samples from 30 patients with mesothelioma and other lung cancers and conditions. The researchers then used this “spectral library” to analyze other tissue samples. They report that the system was able to correctly identify the same diseases multiple times in subsequent tests.

“Further evaluation of this technique could make this illumination nanotechnology an efficient, rapid, on-site diagnostic tool,” they write in a summary of their findings in the International Journal of Nanotechnology, which is where the original study was published. (Darwiche, K, et al, “’One-stop shop’ spectral imaging for rapid on-site diagnosis of lung cancer: a future concept in nano-oncology”, November 22, International Journal of Nanomedicine, Epub ahead of print,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Michael Ellis
Cancer Monthy
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