Smart Knife Helps Doctors Find Cancer
It can instantly detect whether tissue is healthy or not in surgery
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2013 3:20 PM CDT
The experimental knife is used on a piece of animal muscle during a demonstration at St Mary's Hospital in London.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

(Newser) – A nifty new knife that can sniff out cancer might soon be in operating rooms, reports Bloomberg. In its first major test, the "intelligent knife," or iKnife, did spectacularly well—as in, 100% accuracy in 91 cases. Here's how it works: When a surgeon cuts into a patient's tissue, the heat sends up smoke. The iKnife collects the smoke and analyzes it to determine whether the tissue is cancerous, explains AP. Under current procedures, doctors typically must wait a half-hour to get such results. The new knife provides them instantly.

The upshot is that when surgeons open up a patient to remove a tumor, the device would give them a much better chance of snipping out all the cancerous tissue and leaving behind all the healthy stuff. Among other things, that could reduce the need for follow-up surgeries, notes the Royal Society of Chemistry. But first comes more tests for maker Medimass. The knife costs $380,000, but the price should drop assuming it aces those tests, too, and goes commercial.

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
wei2szu
Jul 18, 2013 10:42 AM CDT
Cool, now we can eliminate the high priced doctors and high priced medicine for TREATMENTS THAT DO NOT WORK!!!! The inventors of this device are probably going to end up missing when the drug companies get a hold of all this information. I wonder if you can program this thing? Like, can you get it to discriminate between a common persons' cells and say...a layer's cells?
Libris_Fidelis
Jul 18, 2013 2:22 AM CDT
OH GOOD... now we can eliminate the expensive lengthy education of going through medical school. We will just give the janitors a smart scalpel and let the janitor do all of our surgeries using the smart scalpel. BRILLIANT !!!!!
ashthe1
Jul 17, 2013 11:20 PM CDT
From: “Smart Knife Helps Doctors Find Cancer” to: Get rid of tobacco to cure cancer. One would be naive to relate cancer solely with the use of tobacco. However, I have come to know that excessive use of any substance or drug will causes negative health issues and harm to the human body. Apart from smoking, tobacco had a number of uses as medicine. As a pain killer it was used for earache and toothache and occasionally as a poultice. Smoking was said by the desert Indians to be a cure for colds, especially if the tobacco was mixed with the leaves of the small desert sage, Salvia dorrii, or the root of Indian balsam or cough root, Leptotaenia multifida, the addition of which was thought to be particularly good for asthma and tuberculosis. Uncured tobacco was often eaten, used in enemas, or drunk as extracted juice.[citation needed] Early missionaries often reported on the ecstatic state caused by tobacco. As its use spread into Western cultures, however, it was no longer used primarily for entheogenic or religious purposes, although religious use of tobacco is still common among many indigenous peoples, particularly in the Americas. Among the Cree and Ojibway of Canada and the north-central United States, it is offered to the Creator, with prayers, and is used in sweat lodges, pipe ceremonies, smudging, and is presented as a gift. A gift of tobacco is tradition when asking an Ojibway elder a question of a spiritual nature. Because of its sacred nature, tobacco abuse (thoughtlessly and addictively chain smoking) is seriously frowned upon by the Algonquian tribes of Canada, as it is believed that if one so abuses the plant, it will abuse that person in return, causing sickness. The proper and traditional native way of offering the smoke is said to involve directing it toward the four cardinal points (north, south, east, and west), rather than holding it deeply within the lungs for prolonged periods.