Hearing Cancer

9 years 10 months 3 weeks ago July 01, 2007 Jul 1, 2007 Sunday, July 01 2007 Sunday, July 01, 2007 9:38:46 PM CDT in News
loading

People can't hear cancer, but a new machine can. Assistant MU Professor Dr. John Viator is working with oncologist Dr. Paul Dale to use ultrasound technology that can hear skin cancer spreading.

"He mentioned this problem of detecting these circulating cancer cells in the blood. And we thought, well, maybe we could use this laser to cause this laser-induced ultrasound to detect these melanoma cells that are traveling through the blood," Viator said.

That's music to the ears of recovering melanoma patients like Vickie Sexton. She had a spot on her back that ended up being skin cancer.

"I looked on the internet, but I didn't see anything that resembled it, and I wasn't really concerned about it. And so I eventually just decided that, you know, this is really something that I should go get checked out," Sexton said.

Her dermatologist biopsied the spot and the lab did find melanoma cells. Further biopsies left a scar on her neck.

"It was really hard to enjoy anything, even my kids. It's a big emotional strain as well as physical," Sexton said.

Despite the cancer being removed, patients like Sexton are always concerned about it happening again, and doctors are too.

"I've seen patients twenty years disease free, and then the disease pops up all over for no apparent reason," Dale said. "Right now there's not a good method to detect metastasis of melanoma other than clinical examination. In other words I do my exam and feel whether or not the metastisis is there in the lymph nodes, or CT scans or PT scans."

The new technology offers a lot of piece of mind with just a little blood work. A blood sample is run through tubes and zapped with a laser. If there are melanoma cells, the machine will hear it and that sound is indicated by a spike shown on the ultrasound.

"With this, you don't have to wait until that large tumor, composed of millions and millions and possibly billions of cells, to show up on that type of scan. With this technology, when you take a blood sample, you're looking for single cells traveling through the bloodstream on their way to create these new tumors," Viator explained.

To give a better idea of the scale of things, imagine the human body is represented by all of the water in a swimming pool. The current technology would be able to detect the equivalent of a few buckets of water, while the new technology would be able to detect the equivalent of just one drop of water.

For now, Sexton plans to keep coming for checkups and she hopes to be able to participate in Viator's study as a patient.

Viator and his team are currently working to get a patient study started. Future plans include making the device available in clinics and looking for a way to use the technology to detect other forms of cancer like breast cancer.

You can contact Dr. Dale at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center by calling (573) 882-8454.

More News

Grid
List
HOLTS SUMMIT - Callaway County Sheriff Deputies arrested two men after deputies found meth, marijuana and a firearm in their... More >>
2 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:36:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Eric Greitens called for the special legislative session on Monday, and it’s costing taxpayers thousands of... More >>
5 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 8:51:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police are investigating whether a man who stole a pickup truck after killing a woman and... More >>
7 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 7:09:45 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – President Donald Trump's proposed budget cuts on Tuesday could decrease funding for food stamps by nearly $200 billion... More >>
7 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:38:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Pizza Tree, a local restaurant in Columbia, is participating in a national campaign that works with the non-profit... More >>
9 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 5:17:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A preliminary assessment has found about $86 million of damage and costs from recent flooding and... More >>
9 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 5:00:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man could face up to a year in prison after admitting that he... More >>
10 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 4:28:01 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City announced it will withdraw from the Affordable Care Act starting... More >>
11 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 2:56:00 PM CDT in News
PARMA (AP) — A southe ast Missouri ma n is accused of burglary after allegedly targeting a most unlikely place... More >>
12 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:51:54 PM CDT in News
ST. CHARLES - With no verdict reached, jurors will resume deliberating the fate of Mexico resident Serghei Comerzan on Friday,... More >>
13 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:21:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman is dead and a man critically wounded after shootings in St. Louis' Baden neighborhood.... More >>
13 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 12:38:59 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University announced Mike Middleton as its interim president Thursday as it prepares for current president Kevin... More >>
14 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:55:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A report of a chemical smell coming from a hotel room turned out to be from white powder... More >>
15 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:24:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City's Boys and Girls Club opened its new facility after three years without headquarters. "When... More >>
17 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 9:08:00 AM CDT in News
RAYTOWN (AP) — A Kansas City-area middle school is offering support to students who saw a body hanging from a... More >>
18 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 8:33:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A bridge over Interstate 270 near St. Louis will be closed for the next three months.... More >>
18 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 7:51:57 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The federal agency investigating an April 3 explosion that killed four people in south St. Louis... More >>
19 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:35:42 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU has found its new chancellor. On Wednesday, UM System President Mun Choi introduced Alexander Cartwright as... More >>
1 day ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 12:10:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 63°
3am 63°
4am 63°
5am 62°
6am 62°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:07a
Today
3:00a
Mad Money
4:00a
Early Today
2:30a
Paid Program
3:00a
Paid Program
3:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
First Dates
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld