Early detection of melanoma, the most aggressive skin cancer, is critical because melanoma will spread rapidly throughout the body. Now, University of Missouri researchers are one step closer to melanoma cancer detection at the cellular level, long before tumours have a chance to form. Commercial production of a device that measures melanoma using photoacoustics, or laser-induced ultrasound, will soon be available to scientists and academia for cancer studies. The commercial device also will be tested in clinical trials to provide the data required to obtain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for early diagnosis of metastatic melanoma and other cancers.
‘Using a small blood sample, our device and method will provide an earlier diagnosis for aggressive melanoma cancers,’ said John Viator, associate professor of biomedical engineering and dermatology in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center. ‘We compare the detection method to watching an eight-lane highway full of white compact cars. In our tests, the cancer cells look like a black 18-wheeler.’
Currently, physicians use CT or MRI scans for melanoma cancer detection, costing thousands of dollars. Viator