Scientists representing Turgenev Oryol State University have created an optical probe that can be used to determine the presence of liver cancer. With it, doctors can get the information they need to make a correct diagnosis.
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With a more accurate definition of the tumor, doctors have the opportunity to increase the speed and efficiency of treatment of patients with malignant neoplasms of the liver. In the modern world, this type of cancer occupies the sixth position among the frequently diagnosed types of oncology and the fourth line among the causes of death of patients with this disease. In the later stages, the disease is most often fatal. However, with early detection of a tumor, the chances of saving the patient increase.
To determine the presence of oncology, doctors perform a percutaneous puncture biopsy, during which, using a thick-needle or fine-needle aspiration needle, tissue samples are taken from the liver. In the first case, the tool diameter reaches more than 1 mm, and in the second – less than 1 mm. Scientists have created an optical biopsy method, which is performed using a special probe with a diameter of 1 mm. It is used during a standard liver biopsy procedure. Doctors fix the probe in a biopsy needle, radiation passes through it and a signal from the tissue is collected. Its use allows scientists to combine two existing optical technologies that are used to detect cancer. The first is fluorescence spectroscopy, designed to determine the difference in the glow of healthy and malignant tissues under the influence of laser radiation. The second, diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, provides data on the absorption and scattering of light in tissues.
The experts tested the optical probe on rodents with grafted liver tumors and examined the affected tissue. Thanks to the results, the specialists were able to conduct an experiment in which 20 volunteers with liver neoplasms were involved. The results obtained after the study were consistent with the information accumulated using instrumental and morphological methods of study. For this reason, experts are confident in the effectiveness of a new method for diagnosing liver cancer.