A New study recently showed how an effective and innovative approach could identify certain cancer types even at their earlier stages.

A Xinhua News, through PTV News, reported that in their research, Australian researchers from La Trobe University in the city of Melbourne showed how the use of NanoMslide, an innovative microscopic slide could make cancer cells, as well as other diseased cells, become a standout, appearing in prominent or noticeable color contrast.

According to project lead Professor Brian Abbey, this breakthrough occurred after five long years of the technology's development, along with co-inventor, advanced molecular imaging Dr. Eugeniu Balaur from La Trobe University.

Prof. Abbey compared the breakthrough to moving a television picture to full color from black and white. Recent advances in nanotechnology have allowed for the manipulation of the interaction of light with biological tissue so that abnormal cells appear to have a different color than healthy ones.

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Science Times - Early Cancer Detection: Study Shows How Use of an ‘Innovative Microscope Slide’ Can Effectively Determine Diseased Cells
(Photo : Dr. Cecil Fox (Photographer) on Wikimedia Commons)
Histological slide of cancerous breast tissue

Cancer Cells, with a Different Color

As specified in a similar Dimsum Daily report, the project lead also said existing approaches of detecting cells could frequently result in misdiagnoses and often impede the ability of pathologists to catch cancer early, essential to the efficacy of its treatment. Abbey said it is similar to finding a needle in a haystack with very few cancer cells.

Meanwhile, Belinda Parker, associate professor from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, said they would start to trial the technology to help in the early diagnosis, specifically of cancer cells.

She added, when she first looked at tissue through the microscope on the NanoMslide, she was quite excited. For the first time, she continued, she saw cancer cells just popping up at her.

Describing what she saw, Parker said the cancer cells were a different color from the surrounding tissue, and it was quite simple to differentiate them from the other surrounding cells.

Initial Findings Through NanoMslide

Parker hoped that this newly developed technology could have extensive benefits for diagnosing all types of cancer, Xinhua News reported.

She also explained that based on their initial findings with the NanoMslide, the researchers think the said platform could be beneficial for early diagnosis of breast cancer where they only pick up a few cancer cells in a complex tissue or a blood sample.

Professor John Dewar, Vice-Chancellor at La Trobe University, said the groundbreaking research has highlighted the critical role universities play in innovation, not to mention the need for more collaboration in the industry.

As this notable invention is translating from a "brilliant concept into what could be a life-saving solution," added Prof. Dewar, the university has presented what can be attained when incredible innovation in research comes together with strong partners in the industry.

A Microscopic Slide

The Conversation describes the NanoMslide as a microscopic slide that can manipulate light at the nanoscale, leading cells to "light up" producing vivid color contrast. The method makes it easier to recognize cancerous cells, also known as benign abnormalities within the tissue.

By providing an approach to distinguish which cells are cancerous, this mechanism may aid in the reduction of present uncertainty around the detection of very early-stage breast cancer.

With mammogram screening, detecting breast irregularities from early breast cancers upon biopsy is essential, specifically as rates for misdiagnosis can be as high as 15 percent.

Information about the NanoMslide is shown on Nature Video's YouTube video below:


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