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Home News and Update Year 2010 Red Mode To Detect Cancer?

Red Mode To Detect Cancer?

Times of India
15 October 2010
Bangalore, India

IISc Researching On Using Infrared Rays To Find Tumours
In what might come as a relief to the medical fraternity, Bangalore–based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is researching on the possibility of using infrared rays for diagnosis of cancer.

Red Mode To Detect Cancer?
Phaneendra Yalavarthy, assistant professor, Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC) and a group of five students are working on the breakthrough research. The method employed to get an image of the cancerous growth will be similar to that of an Xray or MRI, except that infrared rays will be used here.

"It will be like ink dropped in a bucket of water, which spreads to the boundaries. Images will then be reconstructed and properties of the cancer will be found. For instance, tumour cells have high density. Therefore, there is more demand for a resource like oxygen. Hence, oxygen level here will be less and blood level higher. These are signature features of a tumour and will be easily identified after infra red imaging," said Yalavarthy.

What Is The Advantage?
Imaging methods currently used like in X–ray or mammography have certain limitations. They are invasive and ionising. Moreover, they do not reveal the physiology of the tumour and are not immediately available with doctors. The new method will be an advantage over existing methods.

Also, most images that are received these days are two dimensional, though light propogates in three dimensions. The breakthrough will be to enable a three–dimension image construction. The method is as simple as taking an X–ray. However, it can only be employed on soft issues and not bones.

Therefore, it can be done only for breast, periphery of brain and so on. "There are clinical trials going on across the world. Other universities like those at Harvard, Pennsylvania and California are also researching. We are in touch with them and meet at conferences," he said.

Yalavarthy is working on the algorithm part of it. The research is also supported by Apple. IISc runs the Apple Research and Technology Support Programme which is now supporting the study. The image processing software called Osirix runs only on Mac.

"It manages fusion of traditional modalities like MRI and CT with the new ones. The closer you monitor and faster you find changes in the tumour, the better it is. Three dimensional infrared imaging could be a powerful tool for this," he added.

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