Since scientists developed a new "smart needle" for smart biopsy which uses a mini laser to classify diseased tissue within seconds, cancer detection could become much faster and easier in the future. Researchers have shown the laboratory works of the technique and have just launched a big three-year clinical trial to test it in living people.
Researchers have so far concentrated on lymphoma but are optimistic that the procedure may also be used to treat other aspects of the disease further down the line, such as breast and prostate cancer. Apparently, lymphoma detection can be an invasive process involving a surgical biopsy followed by a nerve-wracking wait for the test that can often take two weeks or more.
What is biopsy technology?
A biopsy is a tissue sample taken from the body for closer examination. If an initial test indicates that a tissue area in the body is not normal, a doctor may prescribe a biopsy. Doctors can label an area of abnormal tissue a lesion, a tumor, or a mass. These are common terms used to illustrate the tissue's unknown existence. During a physical examination or internally on an MRI scan, the abnormal area may be identified.
Cancer is spreading worldwide more than ever before
There is a dramatic increase in the number of tumors detected in the world population, with cancer becoming the world’s second major cause of death. The estimated number of people with cancer has more than doubled in recent years. Higher-income countries have shown a higher prevalence of cancer diseases, especially due to lifestyle habits such as smoking, lack of exercise, alcohol intake, unstable diet, and obesity. This has resulted in increased attention to detection, as early diagnosis of cancer is essential to ensure a high chance of survival for patients.
Maternal deaths, according to the World Health Organization, lead to disparities in life expectancy at birth between men and women more than any other cause. For low-income nations, maternal deaths are high, mostly due to a lack of access to basic health services. The life expectancy of men, especially in higher-income countries, is lower than that of women because of the higher death rate from common causes. The net impact of breast and cervical cancer decreases the life expectancy differences between men and women in such countries as compared to high-income countries.
Real-world application development for smart biopsy technology
Throughout the world, the outcomes of cancer treatment are often associated with early detection and care. Cancers including prostate, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, and oral cancer have all been the subjects of research into the use of DRS for rapid and precise cancer detection. Early detection and treatment in the developed world have resulted in lower fatality rates for epithelial cancers, but current DRS diagnostic equipment is costly, bulky, and requires high power output.
It also needs highly trained personnel. Because of the lack of diagnostic equipment, these barriers lead to low and middle-income countries having relatively high mortality rates for these cancers. Developing a compact, low-cost, easy-to-use, and most importantly, an effective diagnostic tool for epithelial cancer detection would save lives around the globe.
Smart biopsy for skin cancer
The science of fusion biopsy is a smart biopsy based on MRI scanning. During the test, the radiologist may find unusual areas and combine the MRI information with ultrasound images. The combination (fusion) allows for more precise targeting of the biopsy to suspect areas rather than blind penetration and an improvement in disease detection rate. The biopsy is performed by a urologist, who uses a small needle to take a small tissue sample from the prostate. A tissue specimen is then sent for microscopic examination to the pathological laboratory.
Smart biopsy for breast cancer
Breast cancer is the world's second most common cancer among women, and the use of population-based screening services has increased demand for more responsive and accurate detection methods to limit the number of patients misdiagnosed or over-treated. A review of animal tissue response to electrical impedance (beef, lamb, and pork) found that a number of tissues (fat, muscle, and liver) can be discriminated against using experimental gold electrodes to detect distinct electrical responses.
There are a number of potential applications for this tool including the improved position of biopsy, cancer-free border determination during a lumpectomy, and the prospect of assessing DCIS without invasive surgery. Smart novel tools are intended to be used mainly as an alternative to the x-ray mammography gold standard for detecting breast cancer tumors during the routine screening process.
To sum up
The smart biopsy market is growing bigger and better due to its concept of being a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can remove the complications and side-effects of biopsy devices. Today, the idea of a smart biopsy or endoscopy may refer to the use of a biopsy or endoscopy technique to obtain deeper data from these invasive procedures that may help in diagnostic processes. Future smart biopsy aims to develop a fast and minimally invasive diagnostic tool that can reduce the number of needless conventional invasive biopsies when implemented in a clinical setting and improve early detection and treatment of a variety of diseases in the developing world.