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MasSpec Pen Detects Cancer Tissue in Real Time During Surgery

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Scientists in the US have conducted the first clinical tests of a new diagnostic device called MasSpec Pen. The “pen” is able to detect differences between healthy and cancerous tissue in a matter of seconds, to help surgeons decide which sections must be removed during pancreatic cancer surgery. The researchers, from The University of Texas at Austin and Baylor College of Medicine, describe their research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cancer of the pancreatic duct is one of the most lethal types of cancer, with less than one in 10 patients surviving five years after diagnosis. To ensure that patients have the best chance of survival, doctors must surgically remove those sections of the pancreas affected by cancer. However, distinguishing healthy cells from cancerous tissue is a difficult task. Read more . . . 

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