By Andrew Spence – The Lead SA.
An improved system for detecting cancers that uses magnetic rather than radioactive tracers has taken a major step towards commercialisation.
Researchers at the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute have joined forces with New Zealand-based nanoparticle specialist Boutiq Science and major IP investor, Powerhouse Ventures.
The new technology – an ultrasensitive magnetometer probe designed to be about the size of a ball-point pen – evolved from the doctoral work of University of South Australia researcher Dr Aidan Cousins who is now overseeing the development of the technology in collaboration with Associate Professor Benjamin Thierry.
Radioactive tracers have been a mainstay for detecting the spread of breast cancer and melanoma in lymph nodes, but they have proved less effective in other cancers such as head and neck, gastrointestinal and oesophageal cancers, where nodes are closely packed or clustered.
Dr Cousins said although operating in the same ways as traditional gamma probes, the Magnetometer Probe was much more accurate for these complex cancers and cheaper to operate than existing probes.
“Doctors will find this product just as easy to use but the results will be superior,” he said…read the full story.