Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new, more sensitive way to detect ovarian tumors through the use of nanoparticles. These manufactured particles are coated with small protein fragments, giving them a coarse surface before being injected into the patient. The particles then collect at any possible tumors site and ‘cleave’ fragments off, which are then passed through urine and detected through simple tests.
With most ovarian cancer being diagnosed at late stages, patient survival rates are often poor. Early detection is key, and a strategy like this can be crucial in detecting and analyzing tumors to result in a better prognosis. The researchers are also investigating the possibility of using this approach to detect other cancers and their threat levels, which if successful, could lead towards improved diagnosis across the board.