Researchers based in University College Cork (UCC) are developing new technology to improve the detection and treatment of colonic cancer.
Teaming up with clinicians from Cork University Hospital (CUH) and Mercy University Hospital (MUH), scientists from the IPIC SFI Research Centre for Photonics at Tyndall National Institute have designed a tool for non-invasive surgical guidance and early disease detection using biophotonics technology.
Recently published research shows this technology can help to radically improve health outcomes for patients as it is a less invasive and provides better information to surgeons and clinicians when treating colon cancer.
Biophotonics involves the use of a light-based instrument that senses and differentiates tissues more accurately and faster. Pre-clinical and Clinical studies are set to begin later this year with patients at MUH and CUH.
Marcelo Saito Nogueira, a resereacher from Tyndall's Biophotonics team said this new technology can allow for the earlier detection of diseases leading to reduced treatment time for patients.
“Clinical interventions have been significantly improved by recent advances in devices for diagnostics and surgical guidance. However, most of the current imaging technologies provide primarily tissue morphological and/or structural information, which is only detectable at a late stage in the disease," said Mr Nogueira.
"The tools we are developing will be more beneficial as they identify and locate disease at an earlier stage based on molecular changes, If accurately detected, the disease can be fully treated in less procedures, and the risk to the patient and number of cancer surgeries would be reduced,” he said.
Improving diagnostics from biopsies is critical for patient outcomes as treatment plans can take place quicker following earlier detections.
Colon cancer accounts for more than 9% of all cancer deaths worldwide and is estimated to increase by a further 71.5% by 2040.
It is the third most common cancer in men and women and the second most deadly worldwide.
The Tyndall's latest research has been published in– a leading academic science journal.