Novel measurement method may help in battle against cancer

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Washington, Jan 27 (ANI): A new measurement technique developed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) will help in the fight against cancer.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a popular method used for looking beneath human tissue. It is higher in resolution and much faster than techniques like MRI or ultrasound, with no ionising radiation, making it best for detecting changes in tissue structure that can indicate the early stages of cancer.

But creating such images needs high precision, and even a small inaccuracy can lead to incorrect assumptions about cell disruption. This means early, potentially life-saving treatment can be missed.

Now, a new NPL product, called a 'point-spread phantom', will do away with the risk of such errors. The phantoms are translucent cylinders of resin containing specially arranged particles that reflect light in a specific way. If the phantom is seen with an OCT machine and the image is analyses with NPL software, users can be certain the machine is producing accurate images, which can be relied on for important medical decisions.

These 'phantoms' will also enable manufacturers of OCT technology to meet the necessary standards to guarantee to hospitals that their machines are fairly accurate.

Michelson Diagnostics is the first British company to use NPL's phantoms.

CEO John Holmes said: "We developed breakthrough technology for imaging living tissue and for detecting diseases, but we needed to validate our performance claims, to provide customers with greater confidence in them. NPL's phantoms and analysis have enabled us to validate our claims beyond doubt, thereby demonstrating the superiority of our scanners and giving us the edge over our competitors. We expect that this validation will give OCT technology the backing it needs to become standard in hospitals around the world, and thereby make an important progression in the battle against cancer". (ANI)

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