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Dec, 14 2022

iKnife: A New Device Against Cancer

Cancer is a life-threatening chronic disease. It can magically appear, hang out, flourish, and grow for a very long time without being diagnosed. Cancer is unpredictable when it first manifests; it may be lethal or benign. It resists attacks and is difficult to knock down. Radiation, chemotherapy, and other medications might slow its growth or significantly reduce it, but they seldom wholly eradicate it. This led to the invention of an intelligent knife. Professor Zoltan Takats of Imperial College London created it. Takats and his team connected a typical surgical knife to a mass spectrometer, often known as an exact molecular weight scale, to create the iKnife. In a puff of smoke that can be scooped up and analyzed by the mass spectrometer, tissue molecules are released when the knife burns through it. This can help scientists create a mental image of various tissues so they can distinguish between them. Ghaem-Maghami, Phelps, and crew wanted to determine if the iKnife may improve surgery for ovarian cancer, given that it is already being tested for breast surgery.

Scientists have created an "intelligent knife" that can instantly inform surgeons of the cancer seriousness of the tissue they are cutting. The iKnife has sparked interest in the field of clinical oncology because it has the potential to transform cancer surgery and diagnostics. This smart surgical tool can instantly discriminate between cancerous and non-cancerous tissue types using electrospray ionization and mass spectrometry. For tissue dissection, modern surgery uses a variety of various "energy instruments." Due to their ability to coagulate and seal tissues to stop bleeding, they are preferred over blades. Smoke is a byproduct of these instruments. During surgery, the iKnife aspirates this smoke into a mass spectrometer to analyze the tens of thousands of chemical characteristics it contains.

Global gamma knife market is on the rise and will continue to witness an upward trend for the forecast period of 2021-2028. Currently standing at a market value of USD 269.53 million, the gamma knife market will rise up to USD 342.23 million by the end of the forecast period. This is because of the growing awareness about the advantages of this radiation therapy globally. Thus, following the current trends the global gamma knife market is set to exhibit a CAGR of 3.03%. The Gamma knife market is segmented on the basis of disease indications, anatomy and end use. North America currently, stands at the top position in terms of holding the largest gamma knife market share. This is because of the prevalence of good healthcare infrastructure, rising number of patients with neurological disorders and increasing aged population.

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Scientists have developed an "intelligent" surgical knife that can determine in a matter of seconds whether the tissue being cut is malignant, paving the way for future surgeries that are more precise and successful. By identifying cancer mid-cut, a novel surgical tool that draws on both old and new technology could shorten surgery times and eliminate the need for additional procedures. During surgery, the iKnife, an electro-cauterization tool connected to a mass spectrometer, provides a real-time readout of the molecular make-up of the tissue being studied.

iknife: The Invention and Working

A recent research study was conducted by iKnife inventor Dr. Zoltan Takats. He attached an electrosurgical knife to a mass spectrometer. He was able to profile the chemicals in a biological sample to provide details about the condition of a particular tissue sample. Different types of cells produce hundreds of metabolites in various amounts. Surgeons typically remove solid cancerous tumors along with a margin of good tissue. Still, they agree that it is frequently difficult to distinguish which tissue is cancerous just by looking at it. For instance, one in five surgically treated breast cancer patients requires a second procedure to eradicate the disease completely. The iKnife gives surgeons a quick answer rather than making them wait up to 30 minutes for the results of laboratory testing due to its high degree of reported accuracy.

In order to compile a reference library, researchers have also employed the iKnife to analyze tissue samples obtained from 302 surgical patients. These samples included tumors from the liver, stomach, colon, lung, and breast as well as thousands of other diseased and non-cancerous tissues. The iKnife determines what kind of tissue is being cut in less than three seconds by comparing its readings during surgery to the reference library. Currently, the iKnife is not for sale commercially. Dr. Takats stated that although its accuracy has been demonstrated in studies, the next step is to conduct a clinical trial to determine whether providing surgeons with access to the iKnife may enhance patient results.

Electricity has been used by surgeons to cut tissue for more than a century. Their portable electrical instruments provide heat that easily separates tissue. However, these electrical blades burn tissue rather than cut it like a scalpel. Although this method is clean and minimizes blood loss, it also produces a puff of smoke that might be the secret to doing surgery with more accuracy. This kind of surgery is nearly a given as part of the treatment for many cancer patients. It heals them in certain circumstances. However, for some people, it's just the beginning of a cancer journey characterized by rescheduled treatments and prolonged hospital stays because they require additional surgery.

iKnife: A New Device Against Cancer

Source: Cancer Research U.K.

According to the most recent data we have from the UK, around 20 out of every 100 patients with invasive breast cancer need further surgery. For individuals who have cells with pre-cancerous alterations that could turn into cancer, this rises to 30 in 100 patients. Given that breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women and that lumpectomies or breast-conserving surgery is generally a very common procedure, there are a significant number of women who this technology could assist. Because women have such high rates of re-excision, breast cancer is one of the "low-hanging fruits."

Before the iKnife can be added to a cancer surgeon's toolset, there is still much work to be done. Additionally, research is still being done on different cancer kinds. The iKnife has been demonstrated to be able to identify ovarian cancer samples in the lab, according to a recently published study by Takats and another colleague at Imperial College London, Dr. David Phelps. They expect it to be able to identify cells with DNA abnormalities that could develop into ovarian cancer, which are currently exceedingly difficult to detect. Therefore, with more research and development, surgeons in the future may be able to reassure their patients that the procedure went well while also knowing with certainty that every cancer cell has been eradicated.

Data Bridge Market Research analyses that the ovarian cancer diagnostics market which was USD 1,084.7 million in 2021, is expected to reach USD 1,836.03 million by 2029, at a CAGR of 6.80% during the forecast period 2022 to 2029. Ovarian cancer symptoms are frequently overlooked and easily confused with those of other diseases, resulting in a lack of early detection and accurate diagnosis. Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at the highest growth rate in the forecast period of 2022 to 2029 due to the rise in ovarian cancer prevalence.

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By creating the NaviKnife, a cutting-edge imaging and software navigation system, researchers from the Department of Surgery, School of Computing, and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences have enhanced this technology and dramatically improved cancer patients' results. The NaviKnife can altogether remove a tumor while causing the least amount of tissue damage. NaviKnife leverages cutting-edge real-time metabolomics tissue typing and cutting-edge multipara metric ultrasound imaging to precisely target the malignancy prior to resection and to identify and follow the tumor boundaries during excision while being guided by a straightforward robotic arm. The comprehensive objective involves integration into vascular and neurosurgery and other types of onco-surgical areas, even though the current study employing this image-guided technology focuses on brain and breast cancer tumors. One illustration of how our clinician-scientists collaborate with businesses to commercialize solutions for global health is the NaviKnife.

iKnife Summarization

Resecting all malignant tissue while leaving no surrounding healthy tissue is the optimum outcome of cancer surgery. Physicians use their eyes to accomplish this, whether they are looking at macroscopic or microscopic tissue. An international team hypothesized that this procedure might benefit from the tissue's metabolic status as determined by mass spectrometry. This led to the invention of iKnife.

At the moment of operation, the iKnife is a surgical tool that can find cancer in tissues. The rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS) technology and electro-surgery for tissue diagnostics are combined to create the intelligent knife. At the moment of operation, the iKnife is a surgical tool that can find cancer in tissues. The rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS) technology and electro-surgery for tissue diagnostics are combined to create the intelligent knife. A developing technology called rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry makes it possible to instantly characterize human tissue in vivo by examining the aerosol ("smoke") generated during electrosurgical dissection. Directly from tissue sections, metabolites, proteins, and lipids can all be detected simultaneously by mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of biological samples.

Surgery is still an insufficient science for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Cancerous cells may remain after the removal of just 1 ovary, necessitating additional treatment or surgery. However, if the instrument could identify malignant tissue during surgery, perhaps surgeons might remove it all at once while protecting healthy tissue. Researchers have started treating borderline ovarian tumors, which are more frequent in younger women, with the iKnife. The goal is to more accurately identify these tumors so that a more specialized treatment strategy may assist patients in maintaining their fertility.

  • In order to make the iKnife "intelligent," researchers will continue to add to the knife's sample database and examine more ovarian cancers. The team's work will never be finished, as stated by David Phelps, BM, DipHE, MRCOG, an Imperial College London surgeon supported by Cancer Research UK. The more data you add to the collection, the more accurate it will become, he said, adding that he didn't think we'd ever be done.
  • In addition to creating their database, the team aims to continue testing the knife so that it can be used in actual surgery, according to Sadaf Ghaem-Maghami, MBBS, PhD, MRCOG, a consultant subspecialist in gynecological cancer surgery. She said that we intend to conduct a clinical trial to see if the iKnife can detect ovarian cancer in a surgical context based on the strength of the findings. The team wants to test the iKnife on various cancer types. Researchers claim that employing the iKnife during brain surgery has enormous potential consequences. If this technology can be made to work, doctors will be able to remove the entire tumor while sparing healthy brain tissue. The team is optimistic about what the iKnife could signify for the future of cancer surgery, even though there is still a lot of work to be done in this area. "The surgical technique we adopt could entirely change if the iKnife can provide us an accurate diagnosis during the operation," Phelps added.

Data Bridge Market Research analyses that the cancer diagnostics market is expected to reach the value of USD 28.21 billion by the year 2029, at a CAGR of 7.29% during the forecast period. The rise in the Cancer cases provides growth opportunities to the market. The cancer diagnostics market is segmented on the basis of type, application and end-user.

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