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Cancer is the scourge of our age. But the fight against cancer curse does not stop for a minute.
Early detection of cancer is a very important aspect in its treatment. Doctors from the University of Illinois and Queensland University of Technology in Australia presented a prototype of a new oncology detector. This device looks for circulating tumor cells (CSCs) in a person’s blood — the primary sign of tumor activity — and only a drop of the patient’s blood is enough for him to work.
The problem with the search for CSC is that their content in the blood is negligible. For example, in a sample sample of 7.5 ml there will be 30-40 billion blood cells and only 10 CSC units.
The CSC is on average larger than normal blood cells, so scientists created a microfluidic filter that separates objects in a fluid by size. In the first experiments, 93% of 50 CSC units were found in a 5 ml blood sample. That is, blood tests of patients with cancer showed the reliability of the technology in 9 out of 10 cases, but questions remained about the size of the samples and the magnitude of the error in the measurements.
Yes, the experiments used deliberately large CSC in lung cancer. With other forms of cancer, the results were more modest, but now researchers have a scientific and technical base. And a simple microfluid filter in combination with other modern diagnostic systems has a good future.