MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Inspired by studies demonstrating canine abilities to sniff out cancerous biomarkers, a team of U.K. researchers developed a scent-analysis device that they say can diagnose early signs of bladder cancer.
In a test of nearly 100 urine samples, the device, called OdorReader, was 100% accurate in distinguishing which samples came from cancer patients, researchers said. As an added bonus, the system delivers its diagnosis in just 30 minutes, according to a press release.
Researchers hope the technology may be able to detect cancer earlier than current urine-testing methods.
"Each year approximately 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with bladder cancer," University of Liverpool’s Institute of Translational Medicine professor Chris Probert said in prepared remarks. "It is a disease that, if caught early, can be treated effectively, but unfortunately we do not have any early screening methods other than diagnosis through urine tests at the stage when it starts to become a problem."
The device, which features a sensor that interprets fumes from urine and attempts to detect the presence of cancerous cells, may be able to dramatically cut bladder cancer treatment costs, according to the release.
"Bladder cancer is said to be the most expensive cancer to treat, due to repeated scopes to inspect the development of the cancer cells in the bladder," Probert added. "OdorReader has the potential to dramatically cut these costs by preventing scopes."
Non-surgical specialists perform almost half of sarcoma surgeries
Dangerous sarcomas, located deep in muscle tissue, are removed by surgeons specifically trained to do so in only 52% of cases, according to a review by the University of Southern California Davis Health System.
The other 48% of sarcoma removals were in the hands of non-oncological surgeons, such as orthopedic or plastic surgeons. This data led the U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network to rethink guidelines for soft tissue sarcomas.
Embedded code might be tracking health-related web browsing
Popular health-related websites are rife with 3rd-party programs that quietly track use and gather data,
, according to research from Marco Huesch from the University of Southern California.
Huesch found that 3rd-parties are embedding code that gathers browsing patterns on highly-trafficked medical websites. Of the 20 popular health websites he examined, all had an average of 6 or 7 embedded programs that tracked potentially sensitive data.
2 new small biotechs opening doors in Mass.
ZS Genetics and Boston Biomedical this week both celebrated ribbon-cutting ceremonies at brick-and-mortar locations in Massachusetts.
ZS Genetics, a DNA sequencing company, opened doors in Wakefield for its 10 employees, who have been working remotely since the company founded 6 years ago.
Boston Biomedical’s new location will also serve as the global oncology center for parent company Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, which bought out the small Boston Biomedical last year. Boston Biomedical has been operating out of the Cambridgeport office since winter, but the ribbon-cutting ceremony was delayed because of this year’s snowstorms.
SmartMetric is selling its EMR key ring to the public
SmartMetric is taking to the airwaves with a radio campaign surrounding its portable electronic health record keyring. The keyring, about the size of a flash drive, is protected with a fingerprint "key" that unlocks the files.
Similar to a metal medical wristband, the keyring is for people who want to keep important medical information with them at all times. Company CEO Chaya Hendrick said a radio campaign is the most direct way to reach customers.