Researchers have developed a laser that is up to 1.000 times more sensitive for detecting tumor cells in the blood than current methods. The laser is used to heat up melanin-containing melanoma cells present in the blood and ultrasound is used to detect the miniscule waves emitted by this heating effect. The entire system together is called the Cytophone. In addition to identifying melanoma cells in 27 out of 28 melanoma patients and a lack of false positives in healthy study participants, the researchers found that patients with melanoma had fewer tumor cells in their blood after treatment. Although the technology was developed for the detection of melanoma, it seems that it is also at least partially functional as a treatment for the cancer.
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