Researchers from the University of Michigan have created a prototype medical device that can capture cancer cells in your blood.
The technology is currently available, but it's about the size of an oven and often imprecise. This new prototype is worn around your wrist and plugs into a vein to improve diagnosis as well as treatment.
According to the researchers, tumors can release more than 1,000 cancer cells into the bloodstream in a single minute. Right now, doctors rely on blood draws, which can come back without any cancer cells, even in patients with advanced cancer.
With this new device, you would spend a couple of hours in the hospital, and it would screen a larger sample of blood. In early testing, on dogs, the wearable device collected nearly 3.5 times as many cancer cells as a blood draw.
The researchers compared it to security cameras. The old way is like a security camera that takes a still every five minutes; the new way is like a video feed.
Next, the team hopes to increase the blood processing rate and start human trials in three to five years. Wish it was sooner.