Silicon Chip Detects Cancer

Cancer has remained one of the great mysteries of our modern world, but medical researchers have found some new insight into the mysterious disease. Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Biomicroelectromechanical Systems (BioMEMS, for those keeping score at home, or with less than a half-hour to spare) have developed a new method of sampling circulating tumor cells (CTC's) from blood...necessary for diagnosing cancer.

The device is called the CTC-chip. While similar technology has existed for some time, earlier microchip-based systems were only used with samples of blood from finger picks, useful for problems other than cancer (think: diabetics use for testing blood glucose with a glucometer). Detecting CTCs in quantities required for cancer testing required blood samples 1,000 to 10,000 times larger. Researchers say that the chip was able to detect CTCs from 116 tested blood samples from cancer patients with a 99% success rate.

Three cheers for non-invasive cancer testing.