NIH Grants Dartmouth Team $2.5M to Develop Device for Detecting Cancer Cells

NIH Grants Dartmouth Team $2.5M to Develop Device for Detecting Cancer Cells
A research team at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth received a $2.5 million grant to develop and test a device meant to help surgeons detect and remove prostate cancer cells that would otherwise be missed during surgery. The five-year grant, awarded by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, will focus on differences in an electric current when it flows through cancer cells, according to a University press release. The complete removal of a tumor during surgery helps to avoid additional surgeries and treatments, and cancer relapse. Most importantly, it helps increase patients’ overall survival. Distinguishing between cancer and healthy tissue during surgery currently depends mainly on visual inspection and palpation by the surgeon — a method with undetermined accuracy. Surgeons routinely remove an extra centimeter of tissue around a tumor to reduce the chances of leaving any cancer cells behind. Still, according to a 2014 review study, 6.5% to 32% of men undergoing radical prostatectomy each year come out of surgery with positive surgical margins. That means that cancer cells were still detected at the edges of the remove
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