Scientists and engineers from the University Of Texas invented a new cancer-detecting Pen. The pen can allegedly identify cancerous tissues during surgeries. It only takes 10 seconds for the pen to do the job, that’s 150 times faster than the current method being used by the medical community.

MasSpec Pen

The magical pen is called “MasSpec Pen” and it's just about the same size of a typical writing tool. It’s a handheld instrument designed for surgeons to accurately detect cancerous tissues during surgeries. With the help of the pen, surgeons will know which tissues to remove.

Removing cancerous tissues decreases the chance of recurrence. It will also lessen the time spent in performing procedure since cancer-inflicted tissue can easily be identified.

The pen was featured in the journal Science Translational Medicine on Sept. 6. For patients undergoing surgery, the most important thing is to have surgeons remove all the cancerous cells in their bodies. This pen will help doctors accurately remove everything that they have to eliminate.

Livia Schiavinato Eberlin is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the lead and designer of the study. According to Eberlin, they are working on new technologies that will ensure the success of infected tissue removals during surgeries.

Frozen section analysis

The process of identifying cancerous tissues and healthy ones is called Frozen Section Analysis. It is the most effective way of identifying and removing cancer today. However, when done during surgery, it is very slow and sometimes inaccurate.

When analyzing samples, pathologists can take 30 minutes or more to successfully diagnose tissues.

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The time it takes to study the samples increases the chance of patient infection. Prolonged procedures also pose a risk to the patients because they can suffer from the negative effects of anesthesia.

MasSpecs testing

In some difficult cases, there’s a 10 to 20 percent chance of unreliable results. The MasSpecs were used to test about 253 patients.

In all participants, it took the pen 10 seconds to make a diagnostic. During the course of testing, the pen yielded 96 percent accuracy.

In addition, the pen also did great in detecting cancer in marginal regions where there are mixed cellular compositions in tissues. The team will proceed to further test the technology with oncology operations in 2018.