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New Pill Could Screen For Cancer From Withing Using X-Rays

By David Ponce

There are several ways to detect colorectal cancer. The more uncomfortable of them involve a colonoscopy, which is pretty much the insertion of a camera down the wrong end of you. Another method has been to swallow a pill sized camera while doctors get a view from within you without having to you know, actually go in… And now there’s news of the Check-Cap, a pill that emits radiation outside the visible spectrum (XRays), which go through soft tissue and food.

The device, which employs low energy X-ray-based technology to safely generate high resolution 3D imagery, may help doctors detect colorectal cancer. No cleansing involved. The capsule continuously transmits information to a wrist-worn data receiver. Patients can go play a round of golf or take a walk while the tiny device does its work. At the end of the journey, the capsule leaves the body the “natural” way.

GE Healthcare and Check-Cap will also design and manufacture miniature cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) diagnostic imaging sensors placed inside each Check-Cap capsule. The sensors will give clinicians a full 360-degree view as the capsule moves through the colon. GE Healthcare has many years of experience in developing CZT-based detectors. Similar technologies have been used in the company’s nuclear medicine and bone densitometry systems.

Check-Cap plans to introduce its capsule in the European Union in late 2013, subject to regulatory approval. The company is also in discussions with the U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

We’re not sure how we’d feel swallowing a pill that emits X-Rays making its way down our bowels for a day, but if it’s for a good cause we suppose we don’t mind. Just as long as it doesn’t end up giving us cancer instead of screening for it…

VIA [ Medgadget ]







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  • Anonymous

    “…From Withing”?  I think you mean to say “…From Within”.