science fiction becoming reality, with a study from researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.The Tricorder first appeared in Statrek is to become a reality for use in personalized medicine,
More specifically, an Italian company is working on creating an inexpensive, hand-held medical device capable of detecting cancer by merely swiping it across the patient’s body. Wired News reports:
The research team is reporting that by looking at images from radiology scans – such as the CT scans a cancer patient routinely gets – radiologists can discern most of the genetic activity of a tumor. Such information could lead to diagnosing and treating patients individually, based on the unique characteristics of their disease.
“Potentially in the future one can use imaging to directly reveal multiple features of diseases that will make it much easier to carry out personalized medicine, where you are making diagnoses and treatment decisions based exactly on what is happening in a person,” said co-senior author Howard Chang, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford, who led the genomics arm of the study.
The study’s other senior author is Michael Kuo, MD, assistant professor of interventional radiology at UCSD, who said their work will help doctors obtain the molecular details of a specific tumor or disease without having to remove body tissue for a biopsy. “Ideally, we would have personalized medicine achieved in a noninvasive manner,” said Kuo, who spearheaded the project in 2001 while he was a radiology resident at Stanford.