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iKnife can diagnose endometrial cancer within seconds, paves way for new diagnostic pathways


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iKnife can reliably diagnose womb cancer and help thousands of healthy women get all-clear quicker.

The disease is the fourth most common cancer in women and affects about 9,000 a year in the UK.

 iKnife is already used to treat breast and brain cancers.

“The iKnife reliably diagnosed endometrial cancer in seconds, with a diagnostic accuracy of 89%, minimising the current delays for women whilst awaiting a histopathological diagnosis,” the team of researchers wrote.

The iKnife uses electrical currents to differentiate between cancerous and healthy tissue by analysing the smoke that is emitted when the biopsy tissue is vaporised.

Its effectiveness was proved using biopsy tissue samples from 150 women with suspected womb cancer.

Sadaf Ghaem-Maghami, the lead researcher said, “The iKnife has the potential to completely revolutionise the way we manage people ... which can take up to two weeks.”

The research was carried out at Imperial College London and published in Cancers. 

Getting diagnosis within seconds could enable women confirmed to have cancer start treatment sooner

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Journal of oncology

Imperial College London (ICL)

Public research university with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research

Sadaf Ghaem-Maghami

Professor of Gynaecological Oncology at Imperial college London