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New System Detects Tumor Cells Quickly

Device attached to smart phone may be more accurate than immunohistochemistry

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A quantitative micro-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) chip attached to a smart phone appears capable of quickly detecting tumor cells at a patient's bedside, with quicker turnaround and better accuracy than immunohistochemistry, according to research published in the Feb. 23 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Jered B. Haun, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed small samples of biopsied tissue from 50 patients to test a quantitative micro-NMR system and compare it with immunohistochemistry for diagnosing cancer.

The researchers note that the micro-NMR system correctly identified 44 patients with malignancies, which were later verified by standard diagnostic techniques. The team determined the new system to be 96 percent accurate in establishing a cancer diagnosis, compared with 84 percent for immunohistochemistry. Further, the test yielded results in less than 60 minutes, compared with a standard three-day turnaround.

"Our quantitative point-of-care micro-NMR technique shows potential for cancer diagnosis in the clinic," the authors write.

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