Doctors have many powerful treatments at hand to fight cancer, but they lack good reconnaissance. Current imaging and scanning techniques take a snapshot of the tumour at a particular moment in time. But tumours can grow and change quickly, so doctors need to take more regular measurements to keep up. Now scientists have developed a tiny sensor (pictured) that can be implanted into a tumour, where it constantly monitors the acidity of the tissue and the amount of oxygen dissolved in it. These measurements provide a picture of the tumour’s health. The sensor transmits the data wirelessly and doctors can access it at any time to track how a particular patient is responding to a therapy. This will allow them respond to changes rapidly, by adjusting dosages or switching therapies when necessary. Such tailored treatment could ultimately improve a patient’s survival, while reducing their exposure to side effects.
Written by Deborah Oakley
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