Purdue, Vanderbilt Scientists Develop New Cancer Detection Technique

Armen Hareyan's picture

Liver Cancer Detection

Purdue scientists who recently streamlined a common chemistry lab tool have joined forces with a biomedical group at Vanderbilt University to make the invention potentially valuable in hospital operating rooms.


By custom-modifying a device called a mass spectrometer with a novel sample introduction device, a team including R. Graham Cooks, has found that the wand-like sample probe can be used to accurately identify liver cancers. The technique can tell the difference between diseased and non-diseased regions of tissue samples within a few seconds. Cooks said that the devices might one day prove useful in helping doctors ensure that a tumor is fully removed before a patient leaves the operating table.

"A host of medical issues could be confronted with this tool, which has a very wide range of applications," said Cooks, who is the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in Purdue's College of Science. "For example, in previous studies, it has been found to be useful in detecting the residues of explosives found on luggage."

The team's paper appears on the cover of the current issue of Angewandte Chemie, a leading European scientific journal. Members of the team include Purdue's Justin M. Wiseman and Zolt