'iKnife' Could Revolutionize Cancer Surgery | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

A new surgical tool–dubbed the 'iKnife'–has the potential to change the way surgeons operate on cancer patients. Typically, surgeons use knives that vaporize tumors during procedures, which produces a strong-smelling smoke. Under standard protocol the surgeon must send tissue to the lab to be analyzed to determine whether or not it is cancerous, waiting on the results while the patient lies on the operating table for close to 30 minutes. The 'iKnife' eliminates the lab work, analyzing the smoke on its own to distinguish cancerous tissue from healthy tissue; it can tell doctors if the tissue is cancerous almost instantaneously. In a recent study, the knife correctly detected cancer in all 91 patients. Researchers believe the knife will lower tumor recurrence rates and enable more accurate procedures.