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UK Scientists Invent Scalpel That Can 'Smell' Cancer

By - Source: via Daily Telegraph | B 9 comments

Technology stands to improve the effectiveness of cancer surgeries.

Medical students in the United Kingdom have developed a new breed of scalpel that is capable of differentiating between cancerous and non-cancerous tissue. The scalpel, dubbed the iKnife, was developed by researchers at London's Imperial College and Australia's Daily Telegraph. They reported that early testing yielded 100 percent accuracy in identifying malignant tissue in cancer patients.

The iKnife is an electric scalpel that burns through tissue as opposed to slicing through it as a blade would. The iKnife then analyzes the smoke to determine whether or not the tissue in question is healthy or cancerous. iKnife inventor, Dr Zoltan Takats, says it could be a game changer for resection surgery, which usually involves doctors making an on-the-spot decision on where to cut when resecting tumors.

The device is currently being tested at St Mary's Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital in London. According to Reuters, the next step is a clinical trial. Zoltan hopes to involve between 1,000 and 1,500 people with different types of cancers in the trial. After the trial (which will take two to three years), the iKnife will be submitted for regulatory approval ahead of its commercialization.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , July 19, 2013 4:43 AM
    amazing thing except for the istupid name.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , July 19, 2013 4:43 AM
    amazing thing except for the istupid name.
  • 0 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , July 19, 2013 4:49 AM
    It's not that great if it detects whether there is cancer or not only AFTER you've destroyed the flesh with the knife.

    Anyway, it is certainly an improvement, but how many millions of waiting people are going to suffer and die in the 3 years it takes the government to ensure it doesn't kill anyone.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    SoiledBottom , July 19, 2013 5:24 AM
    Surgery is to be performed at the genius bar
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , July 19, 2013 6:24 AM
    Its great if it detects whether there is cancer or not after you've destroyed the flash with a knife, because this blood vessel rich area will need to be cauterized anyway (tumors are very good at promoting blood supply).

    If cancer is detected on one pass, just do another pass. That's the way surgery in critical areas (where least tissue loss is important) is done anyway.

    (a little knowledge can really turn you around, huh?)
  • 2 Hide
    Mousemonkey , July 19, 2013 6:38 AM
    Sniff and slash, superb! :lol: 
  • 1 Hide
    JPNpower , July 19, 2013 7:14 AM
    The iStupid name is only for marketing to iStupid clients.

    Same with iPS cells
  • 0 Hide
    PedanticNo1 , July 19, 2013 11:02 AM
    We're moving into star trek-like medical technology! Ok, so maybe a tricorder didn't have to burn your ass to see if it contained cancerous cells, but we're getting there!

    Maybe one day we'll have technology that mimics certain dog breeds' ability to smell cancer- without any incision/burn! We live in such an incredible time. I need to stop being so jaded.
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , July 19, 2013 11:33 AM
    Scratch 'n' sniff!
  • 0 Hide
    Orlean , July 19, 2013 7:18 PM
    I sense a lawsuit on the horizon.