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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Barrow friends’ instant cancer test invention amazes scientists

SCIENTISTS have hailed the dawn of a new era in cancer diagnosis thanks to a breakthrough by two friends from Barrow.

Ryan Stables and Graeme Clemens have become overnight celebrities in the world of medicine thanks to their innovative diagnostic tool which acts as a “metal detector for cancer”.

Their creation could, if it is granted approval by the regulatory bodies and passes stringent tests, allow GPs to wave a small probe over a patient’s skin or blood sample to give an instant diagnosis of cancer – removing the delay presently experienced as people wait weeks for test and biopsy results.

The probe could also be used by surgeons operating on tumours, to check that all cancerous cells have been removed.

Dr Stables and his colleague grew up on Walney, becoming firm friends during their time at Walney School and later Barrow Sixth Form College, before going their separate ways on their paths to becoming graduates.

Dr Stables, 29, who completed a music technology degree at Birmingham City University, explained how the pair became involved in medicine.

He said: “Graeme, who had done a degree in chemistry, had moved to Preston for a postdoctoral role and I was a lecturer at Birmingham. We met up and said ‘do you reckon it’s possible to combine the stuff we’ve both done in some way?’ and it just developed from there.”

Their invention uses a laser to detect cancerous cells by the way light disperses from the cells. The way the light spreads is converted to an audio signal which can then be interpreted as malignant or benign.

Although it may be a number of years before their creation can be used on patients, the system has so far had a remarkable success rate when tested on samples of brain tumours.

Dr Stables added: “Cancer is one of the biggest killers and if we can help people by cutting diagnosis times, and therefore increase their chances of survival, then that’s an amazing achievement. It’s not our aim to make loads of money.”

Dr Stables’ and Dr Clemens’ project is set to be featured in the September edition of global science magazine Scientific American.

Have your say

Well done boys! I've said it before and I'll say it again - The Pride of Britain can be found in Cumbria!

Posted by thegirlal on 1 August 2014 at 19:04

Hats off to the lads! Blinkers off for Geoff!

Posted by Old John on 1 August 2014 at 15:18

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