Report: New partnership could improve cancer diagnosis rates

Feb 01, 2011

Cancer diagnosis could get easier with new system

A high-tech system to detect cancer more swiftly than currently possible is set to be developed and commercialized in a partnership between Massachusetts General Hospital and Johnson and Johnson, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

The centerpiece of the system, the Globe reports, is a microchip with the ability to detect cancerous cells at much lower concentrations in the bloodstream. The newspaper says this could provide physicians with more complete information on the status of a patient, as well as the progress of any attempted treatments.

The partnership will allow the system to become more widespread, MGH Cancer Center director Dr. Daniel Haber told the Globe.

"We're limited by our ability to make it fast, easy, cheap, and something that could be done on a global scale. Our goal is to build together a third-generation technology …. that would be so easy to use and so standard, it wouldn't have to be a research tool," he said.

This new cancer diagnostic tool, along with similar advances in medical technology, could improve the quality of care, improving life spans and positively affecting the rates consumers can expect to pay for life insurance coverage.

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