In an exciting new development, scientists from Biomedical Research Institute (IBI), in Galicia, Spain, have patented a faster, more reliable and less invasive technique for detecting carcinomas in the oral mucosa. Currently, the sixth-leading cause of cancer-related death is malignant tumors in the oral cavity. A quicker and more accurate diagnosis can lead to improved quality of life for patients and save lives.
The patent has been licensed to the company Irida Ibérica, which will continue to fund the scientists’ research to study and analyze tissue from patients. What is perhaps even more exciting, is the possibility this technology may extend to a faster diagnosis for skin and cervical cancer as well.
Related: Why we recommend oral cancer screenings
Currently, diagnosing oral cancer requires the observation and then a biopsy of abnormal-looking tissue. “The earliest symptom of cancer of the oral cavity is the appearance of whitish or reddish lesions, which do not disappear or which may grow larger with time, on the inner surface of the oropharyngeal cavity,” says Dr. Roberto Valdés from the Hospital Povisa. This technique is lengthy and invasive. The method discovered by the researchers does not require incisions or tissue removal, which is much less invasive. Using a portable device, doctors can easily obtain a sample right in their office and results are immediate. There is no need to send anything off to a lab. According to Dr. Valdés “, this is a non-traumatic test as there is no need to perform biopsies, thus making it possible to perform multiple examinations in suspected patients and reach an early diagnosis of this tumor-type disease.” This method, thanks to the immediate results. lack of required biopsy or laboratory, and immediate detection will also be cost saving for patients.
Irida Ibérica expects to have a prototype out by the end of the year.