September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
According to the American Cancer Society, about one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed do not die from it. In fact, more than 2.9 million men in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today.
Today we are taking a look at technologies and discoveries that are helping doctors and their patients in the fight against prostate cancer.
Urologists at Greenville Health System (GHS) in North Carolina are using a new 3D-imaging device to detect prostate cancer. It’s called Artemis, and GHS claims the device is 50 percent more effective than traditional biopsy in detecting prostate cancer.
Artemis provides physicians with a 3D-image of the prostate, helping them to clearly visualize the prostate and any lesions. This allows them to be more precise and better target and treat suspicious areas. The technology has also revealed tumors in men who had undergone previous procedures, such as biopsy and MRI, which did not detect cancer despite other physical signs of the disease.
Britain’s National Health Service recently approved and completed a trial for dogs capable of sniffing out prostate cancer.
During the trial, the dogs underwent training for a period of about six months, after which they could reliably identify urine with traces of cancer cells in it. At the facility the dogs sniffed a machine that held eight urine samples. When they detected the sample that contained cancer cells, they either stopped and sat down by it, barked or licked the bottle to indicate they could smell the cancer. The dogs were initially rewarded when they detected any urine scent, and then later only rewarded when they successfully identified cancer cells in urine samples.
Initial testing showed the trained dogs could detect prostate tumors in urine in 93 percent of cases.
Scientists in Italy have developed a cheap and disposable sensor that can detect the presence of a prostate cancer biomarker in urine.
The scientists captured the amino acid sarcosine from urine samples using magnetic micro-beads. The molecule was later released by a pH change and its concentration measured by electrochemiluminescence. The scientists then compared the levels in healthy subjects and prostate cancer patients to identify those with elevated levels of sarcosine, an indicator of prostate cancer.
What did we miss? Share links to your favorite innovative finds in the comment section below and don’t forget to check out last week’s Innovation Friday.
Disclosure: Lexmark is not endorsing any products or features shared in this Innovation Friday blog post. It’s just stuff we think is really, really cool and innovative.