New optical modules could improve thyroid cancer screening
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IMAGE: The EU project ‘Laser and Ultrasound Co-analyzer for Thyroid Nodules (LUCA)’ aims to develop a new, non-invasive low-cost device that will provide more specific results in thyroid nodule screening and… view more 

Credit: LUCA Project

HOLLYWOOD, FL — Early diagnosis in thyroid cancer can improve a patient’s likelihood of recovery, but current screening methods use instruments with poor sensitivity and can yield inaccurate results. Consequently, doctors often have to rely on incomplete information to make diagnostic decisions and recommend treatments, and this can lead to patients receiving unnecessary surgeries or experiencing a reduced quality of life.

Recently, a team of international researchers developed a point of care device that could enable consistent and cost-effective screening for thyroid nodules. Their work is part of a Horizon 2020 European project titled, “Laser and Ultrasound Co-analyzer for Thyroid Nodules,” or LUCA. They will present the project’s progress at the OSA Biophotonics Congress: Optics in the Life Sciences meeting, Florida, 3-6 April 2018.

“The problem is in the poor specificity of the current approaches which leads to a significant number of unnecessary biopsies and surgeries,” said Turgut Durduran, the project coordinator and professor at ICFO – Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona, Spain.

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