Hearing Cancer

1 decade 2 years 5 months ago Sunday, July 01 2007 Jul 1, 2007 Sunday, July 01, 2007 9:38:46 PM CDT July 01, 2007 in News

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
MARSHALL - Police arrested a man Thursday after they said he tried to rob a loan office. Employees of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 4:23:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Soon, every fifth grader in Boone County will have the opportunity to learn math, history, language arts and... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:44:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Last winter saw major snow storms, ice, and extreme cold. This winter could see similar systems, however, the... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:00:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Winter weather is often attacked in an attempt to prove climate change and global warming are not real.... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 8:25:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - While most of us use the weather forecast in order to plan our own day, some people need... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 7:56:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Another recreational complex is coming to Mid-Missouri. The City of Columbia and officials from Boone County announced... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 6:38:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - Three men were charged on Thursday for being involved in a drug-trafficking conspiracy after federal agents seized... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 4:32:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A marijuana advocacy group said people who have legal medical marijuana licenses are still being arrested. In... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 4:28:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public School nurses could be getting a new medication to add to their medicine cabinets... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 2:42:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
TIPTON - David Dubois was taken into custody on Monday for stealing. A property owner in Fortuna, Mo. reported... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 2:31:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The search of the Lamine River for the body of Mengqi Ji Elledge entered its third consecutive... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:49:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Auditor's Office announced today they will deliver to Senate Leadership at least six completed... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:44:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Prosecutor's Office charged a man with sodomy on Thursday after a reported sexual assault at... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:32:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A nearly 100-year-old statue that has stood atop Missouri's Capitol will make her return Friday after being... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 11:41:00 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers arrested two men when they found $1.1 million worth of THC vape... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:47:00 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House is moving forward to draft articles of impeachment... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:38:29 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's search for a new fire chief is coming to a close. A community relations specialist for... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 1:48:00 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
HONOLULU (AP) - The military says a U.S. sailor shot and killed two, and wounded one at the Pearl Harbor... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 10:04:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
5am 37°
6am 37°
7am 40°
8am 41°