Bombarding DNA nucleotides and mammalian meat with 'femto-neutrons' has opened up the path to femtomedicine, an entirely new cancer diagnostics, it was reported today at First Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology in Houston, TX.
Femto-neutrons or 'femtons' are fast neutrons of femtometer wavelength, a million times shorter than the current nanotechnology diagnostic probes which operate on nanometer scale. In the first experiment of the kind, a collaboration of California Science & Engineering Corp. (CALSEC) and College of Medicine, University of California, Irvine (UCI), claimed that is was able to detect oxygen differences as tiny as 1 atom of oxygen per molecule. Since 'hypoxic' cancerous tumors contain 50% to 90% less oxygen than healthy tissue, if you find an oxygen difference between a tumor and the adjacent normal tissue – you have diagnosed cancer! The principle is named 'Differential Femto Oximetry' and the patented diagnostic probe 'Oncosensor'.
"We are ready and eager to test this interesting approach in vivo by making animals inhale carbogen, an oxygen-enriched harmless gas," said co-author Orhan Nalcioglu, Professor and Director of the Center for Functional Onco Imaging of the UCI College of Medicine.
"Our mission is to provide needleless biopsy with negligible 'false negatives' that is a quantum leap over the current technologies. Oncosensor should facilitate an early warning, walk-in, painless, instant cancer diagnosis from outside the body, without intravenous fluid," says Dr. Bogdan Maglich, CALSEC's Chief Technology Officer and the developer of the core technology that was originally used for defense, one of "50 Champions of Innovation" elected by Fast Company magazine. "We derive our confidence from the fact that our 30 minute measurement of the genome lengths of mammalian tissues by neutrons yielded the same result as that obtained from a year-long genome sequencing."
Oncosensor is not an imager. It will be used in tandem with any one of the imaging systems which have achieved high sensitivity, almost 98%, in detecting tumors. But the imagers have a low 'specificity', about 70%, in distinguishing healthy from malignant ones, hence missing an unacceptably large number of malignancies. California scientists predict Oncosensor's specificity may reach 98%, which would be better than the surgical biopsy.
Dr. Nisar Syed of The Long Beach Cancer Institute, Chancellor of American College of Radiation Oncology, explained: "Oncosensor has the potential to significantly enhance the eradication of malignant tumors by the heat treatment known as hyperthermia, by pointing to the surgeons the area of least oxygenated tissue."
"Femto oximetry has also the potential for the forewarning of stroke and cardiovascular diseases which, too, are marked by oxygen change," says co-author Dr. Anna Radovic, a molecular biologist.
CNN and FOX have aired a 5 minute segment on the CALSEC Oncosensor Collaboration under Leading Developments in Diagnostic Technologies. It can be viewed at www.calseco.com.
Bogdan Maglich, 714-966-2986