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Wednesday / July 17.
HomeminewsNew Technology for Eye Cancer Detection

New Technology for Eye Cancer Detection

Doctors currently rely on biopsy analysis to determine the progression of eye cancer, but that is likely to change soon.

Researchers in China now believe that a new technology, bioluminescence imaging (BLI), will allow doctors to detect tumours earlier and quickly choose a method of treatment that doesn’t necessarily involve eye surgery.

BLI is a new technology that uses the making and giving off of light by an organism to map diseases in a non-invasive way. Scientists have harnessed this technology to delicately detect and monitor various diseases, including eye cancer.

Researchers say BLI has several advantages over biopsy analysis, including in vivo monitoring, higher sensitivity, easier use and an overall more accurate correlation between cell numbers detected and tumour growth.

A study detailed in the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s peer-reviewed Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (“Non-invasive visualization of retinoblastoma growth and metastasis via bioluminescence imaging”) shows how the researchers, led by Dr Qian Huang, of the First People’s Hospital in Shanghai, China, were able to effectively create human eye tumours in mice using particular genes to label eye cancer.

BLI was then performed on the mice using the NightOwl LB 981 Molecular Imaging System to monitor the growth and succession of these created tumours.

“BLI allowed sensitive and quantitative localisation and monitoring of intraocular and metastatic tumour growth in vivo and thus might be a useful tool to study cancer biology as well as anti-cancer therapies,” said Dr Huang.

Eye cancer is the most common and aggressive form of cancer found in children under the age of five. As with most cancers, locating the tumors during the early stages of the disease is key. “Eye removal is usually performed for larger tumours. Small tumours are treated using therapeutic approaches such as chemotherapy. Because of the fast progression, early detection is important for preservation of vision, eye retention and even survival,” said Huang.