New research claims that jellyfish can help diagnose cancer

Added 03/11/2010

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Medical research has led to a number of different ways to diagnose cancer. A study carried out by medical researchers in North Yorkshire has revealed that the luminous cells found in a certain type of jellyfish could be used to pinpoint cancerous tumours in humans. The tumour is then picked up by a special camera.

The procedure works by inserting the luminous jellyfish cells into human cancer cells. Once the tissue is illuminated, the special camera can detect the tumours, pinpointing their exact location. This type of procedure could help diagnose cancer that might normally be difficult to detect.

Sometimes x-rays are used to diagnose cancer, but tumours located deep inside the body don’t always show up on x-rays. The use of luminous jellyfish cells could lead to early detection of cancers that can’t be picked up using x-ray equipment.

Further research needs to be conducted on the jellyfish treatment before it can be widely used to diagnose cancer. It is hoped that the procedure will be ready for clinical trials in five years’ time.

If the procedure is to be used successfully in the future to diagnose cancer, one possible setback would be that the special cameras used to view the tumours might not be readily available. So far, an American company is the only manufacturer that has managed to produce a camera that can be used to successfully diagnose cancer tumours using this new method. The materials needed to make the camera cost around £500,000.

Every year, thousands of people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer, and if more methods are developed to diagnose cancer, more lives could be saved thanks to early detection.