Researchers from the Rovira i Virgili University have developed and patented a mobile diagnostic device that can detect tumor cells in blood, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.
The team reported that the device can quantify tumor cells in a blood sample in real-time, positioning it as a tool to boost the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
The device has been tested on patients with breast cancer at various stages of development and could be used to identify the presence of other tumors by analyzing different antibodies.
The diagnostic developed by URV researchers uses a system to help the blood cells flow in alignment and an optical system to analyze the cells and keep track of which cells are cancerous and which are not. The ratio between cancerous and healthy cells could help healthcare workers keep track of a cancer’s progress.
Patients with metastatic cancer have traditionally been monitored using imaging methods and invasive biopsies. The researchers pointed out that their device does not require surgery or radiation and could prove to be a useful, minimally-invasive diagnostic.
The device has been licensed for commercialization to Medcom Science, according to the team.