TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has developed a new mechanism that can spot 10 types of cancers in six to 15 minutes.
Spearheaded by the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC), the technique employs infrared wax physisorption kinetics (iR-WPK) to map irregularities on the layer of glycans on the surface of cells. Abnormalities on this layer are an indicator of early cancerous cell growth.
Colorectal cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, oral cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, neuroendocrine tumor, and glioblastoma, can be identified through the approach, said the researchers.
Compared with traditional methods that can take hours to days to generate results, the technique offers an efficient and effective way of spotting cancerous growth as well as precancerous conditions. It has been patented in Taiwan, Japan, the U.S., and the European Union.
Lee Yao-chang (李耀昌), an associate research scientist at NSRRC, has also developed a kind of software called iPathologist, which helps analyze iR-WPK-derived images and provides timely information during surgery to enable better treatment.
The iR-WPK cancer screening method has entered clinical trials at hospitals in Kaohsiung, Hsinchu, Tainan, and Taoyuan, and is expected to become available for clinical use soon. The scientists believe the technique can also be employed for renal disease diagnosis and prognosis as the country seeks to advance its precision medicine prowess.