Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

From Sci-Fi To Reality – Microendoscopy To Diagnose Breast Cancer?

Date:
March 27, 2002
Source:
Federation Of European Cancer Societies
Summary:
The first clinical trial in Europe of a revolutionary approach to diagnosing breast cancer has just got under way at one of the UK’s leading breast cancer centres. The research involves a minute endoscope, no thicker than a few strands of human hair, which can pass through the nipple and search for the earliest signs of cancer within the breast.

The first clinical trial in Europe of a revolutionary approach to diagnosing breast cancer has just got under way at one of the UK’s leading breast cancer centres.

Related Articles


The research involves a minute endoscope, no thicker than a few strands of human hair, which can pass through the nipple and search for the earliest signs of cancer within the breast.

Consultant breast surgeon, Dr Nicolas Beechey-Newman from Guy’s Hospital in London, told a news briefing at the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona that micro-endoscopy had the potential to detect signs of abnormality in cells lining the breast ducts possibly up to decade before invasive breast cancer develops.

"When we first talked about this technique the response from some quarters was that it was ‘science fiction’. But we’ve proved the doubters wrong. We’ve started to use it on a small number of patients and have already had successes. In one patient who was having a prophylactic mastectomy we found a lesion close to the nipple that would undoubtedly have been missed by the pathologists. It turned out to be a 2 mm invasive cancer. So, for this patient who had made the difficult decision to have a prophylactic mastectomy because of her high breast cancer risk, it confirmed that she would indeed have developed breast cancer in the future.

"I envisage that breast duct endoscopy will be a method of screening high risk patients, such as those who have normal mammograms and clinical examination, but either a genetic abnormality that predisposes them to breast cancer or a very strong family history of the disease," he said.

Breast endoscopy has been tried before with sporadic reports in medical journals over the last decade, but the endoscopes have been too large. Advances in fibre optics have produced endoscopes less than 1 mm across - ideal in size but with poor picture quality because they contain very few glass fibres. So the Guy’s team, working with endoscope designers and manufacturers Acueity Inc. from California, enlisted ideas from Hollywood film technicians (who use a single glass rod to transmit an image). Then Guy’s developed a dilator and a modified lighting system and the result was a microendscope tailor-made for examining the ducts in the breast.

Once passed through the tiny openings at the tip of the nipple the endoscope sends back magnified pictures of the inside of the breast duct to television screens where doctors can identify any warning signs. Healthy ducts look like blue-white shiny caves with branches leading off. Abnormal areas have lost their shine and have changed to a reddish-pink colour. Surgeons can then plot where the problem areas are before performing a biopsy or carrying out treatment.

"At this stage we are not able to see the whole of the duct in many cases or all of the 10 to 15 main breast duct systems. But, we are continuously improving the technology and we hope in the future to be able to examine the majority of ducts all the way from the nipple to the beginning of the duct deep within the breast. This will be easier once we have the new even finer endoscopes that are being developed."

At the moment, women at Guy’s undergoing the procedure have a general anaesthetic, but in the future a local anaesthetic may be all that is necessary for many patients.

Dr Beechey-Newman and research fellow Dr Ashutosh Kothari head the first team in Europe to use the microendoscope. But they expect that the endoscope will be used as a diagnostic tool in several European hospitals within the next year or two. A number of US research teams have taken up the technique, principally The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio who began the initial work. The research at Guy’s is partly funded by Cancer Research UK.

"Clearly, the technique does have a long way to go, but our research indicates that we can see pre-malignant changes," said Dr Beechey-Newman. "This is the most exciting finding because these changes are present for up to 10 years before invasive breast cancer develops. These changes are only infrequently seen by mammography and there is no other imagining system that can show them at all."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation Of European Cancer Societies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation Of European Cancer Societies. "From Sci-Fi To Reality – Microendoscopy To Diagnose Breast Cancer?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020327073251.htm>.
Federation Of European Cancer Societies. (2002, March 27). From Sci-Fi To Reality – Microendoscopy To Diagnose Breast Cancer?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020327073251.htm
Federation Of European Cancer Societies. "From Sci-Fi To Reality – Microendoscopy To Diagnose Breast Cancer?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020327073251.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins