Nigerian scientist creates glasses that detect cancer cells

Boubacar Diallo

A 52-year-old Nigerian scientist, Dr. Samuel ACHILEFU won the prestigious Saint Louis 2014 award for creating glasses that identify cancer cells.

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Achilefu, a professor of radiology and biomedical engineering and his team have developed imaging technology that can detect cancer cells during surgery in the dark.

Samuel Achilefu told Bloomberg that “their effectiveness is in two stages. First, surgeons inject a small amount of an infrared fluorescent marker into the bloodstream of the patient to be operated on. The peptides contained in the marker will then penetrate the cells. The second step will be for the surgeon to wear the glasses and under an infrared light which reacts with the dye, he will be able to identify the cancer cells which will shine ”.

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This month, the glasses were first used on humans by surgeons at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Four breast cancer patients and more than a dozen patients with melanoma or liver cancer have been operated on using glasses since they were developed.

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Ryan Fields, an oncology surgeon who is working with Achilefu to improve the technology, said: “The glasses work wonderfully. They allow us to see cells in real time, which is essential, because the marker has not yet been approved by the FDA, doctors are currently using a kind of lower level marker, which also reacts with the infrared light. ”

Achilefu announces that he intends to keep the University of Washington as the primary center for clinical trials to assess technology in patients. He said: “Making a difference in society must be everyone’s goal. “

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