A Camera for detecting Cancer! by CESS, Trivandrum

The initial results of its clinical trials are very promising says Dr N Subash, Senior scientist CESS.

In the treatment of cancer, early detection of the disease is very important as is often stated by oncologists. A camera which makes early detection of cancer has been developed by scientists at the bio-photonic lab of Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS), Trivandrum.

The camera utilises diffuse reflectance imaging system (DRIS) for giving distinct images of cells with poor blood flow differentiating them from the adjacent healthy cells.

Dr N Subash, senior scientist and head department of atmospheric science at of CESS says “This camera is highly sensitive and can capture premalignant and malignant cells in white light based on the blood flow pattern in them.”

He added that the technology could be used for detecting cancer in organs which have squamous epithelial cells including the gastro-intestinal tract, stomach, colon etc. For carrying out endoscopy also, this camera can be used.

The initial results of its clinical trials are very promising. The camera can successfully detect oral cavity cancer in almost 98% of the patients during clinical studies done at the CESS.

“We screened 96 patients affected with buccal cavity cancer and 34 healthy volunteers in the first phase of trials at the Government Dental College. Results showed 98% accuracy in comparison with the results of biopsy done on the same patients” said Dr N Subash.

The advantage of DR imaging is that as clinical diagnosis is possible in near real-time, there is practically no waiting period. The cost –effective technology can be used for guided biopsy and for mass screening to detect pre-oral cancer.

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