quote:Originally posted by thinkmoney: What is up? Stock is up 15%? I bought this stock awhile back and it went down. I placed it as a backburner stock, always hoping for a surprise.
TM, Many of us were totally burned with a 1/150 reverse split last year. Now with the float a lot lower the next thing Lifeline is working on becoming reporting and moving to another exchange. Although they have been working on that for a year or so. I am just holding on for a miracle to happen to try to re-coup and get out. IMHO, Cowboy.
Posts: 105 | From: "Western", NY USA | Registered: Aug 2004
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A revolutionary technique for diagnosing breast cancer in its early stages — by inserting a tiny camera into the milk ducts — could help to save thousands of lives. Simon Crompton reports An invention pioneered by a British surgeon could revolutionise the detection and early treatment of breast cancer, allowing some tumours to be identified ten years before they can be spotted using conventional screening methods.
The technique, involving the insertion of a needle-like fibre-optic camera into the milk ducts through the nipple, sounds unpleasant, but it takes just 40 minutes, can be accomplished as easily in a doctor’s surgery as in a specialist unit, and may already have saved lives.
Kefah Mokbel, a consultant breast surgeon at St George’s Hospital, South London, and a professor at the Brunel Institute of Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics, has championed the technique, called mammary ductoscopy, in the UK. It provides clear images of the inside of the milk duct for the first time, showing the exact location of abnormal growths. And now he has also developed a means of taking tissue samples simultaneously.
This means not only that it may be a remarkably sensitive screening tool for women at high risk of breast cancer but it also cuts down the need for potentially traumatic exploratory surgery in those who have symptoms that may or may not be caused by cancer.
Breast cancer is diagnosed in more than 40,000 women each year but, the earlier it is detected, the better your prospects. Professor Mokbel believes ductoscopy’s potential to save lives is clear. “If we spot the cancer sooner, we can treat it sooner. That might improve survival rates and reduce the need for women to have emotionally and physically scarring surgery.”
Though its worth in diagnosing breast cancer is as yet unproven, the Royal Marsden Hospital, southwest London, is conducting a trial to investigate how well it compares with other methods of early detection.
About 80 per cent of breast cancers start in the milk ducts. Conventional X-ray mammograms are able only to detect growths of more than 1cm and, under the NHS breast screening programme, women over the age of 50 are invited to have a mammogram every three years. That means, say scientists, that a woman can live with breast cancer for ten years before it is detected by a mammogram scan. Ductoscopy, however, can pick up growths as small as a pinhead. Its development may be particularly important for younger women who know that they are genetically susceptible to fast-growing forms of the disease. In America, the technique has been in use for two years, and lives may have been saved.
Jeanne Gides, from Cleveland, Ohio, for example, was taking a shower one morning and noticed blood on her flannel when she was washing her breasts. She knew what this might mean: she was the same age that her mother had been when she developed breast cancer.
Even though a recent mammogram had been negative, she went to the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio, where the doctors suggested a ductoscopy. The pictures revealed an early form of breast cancer — called ductal carcinoma in situ — and treatment started, probably two years before it would have been revealed on her next routine mammogram. “It saved my life,” Gides says.
The ductoscope was approved for use in Europe last January but it is available only at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, the Royal Marsden Hospital, St George’s Hospital and the private Princess Grace Hospital, all in London. Like other breast specialists, Professor Mokbel has been using the device with women who have a condition called pathologic nipple discharge. Usually, the discharge of a clear or bloody fluid from the nipple is caused by benign changes such as the growth of tiny polyps in a milk duct but, in fewer than 5 per cent of cases, the cause is cancerous.
Ductoscopy allows surgeons to identify the exact location of the anomaly, so that a minimum of breast tissue has to be removed if it is extracted by surgery. A study by the Cleveland Clinic found that ductoscopy revealed nine out of ten abnormalities, compared with seven out of ten with conventional techniques using dyes and X-rays.
And now Professor Mokbel has taken it a step further. Working with an American company called Lifeline Biotechnologies, he has developed the MastaScope. Like the ductoscope, this consists of a 1mm wide fibre-optic tube which is inserted into a milk duct. It relays detailed pictures from the inside of the duct to a monitor. But the optic fibre is surrounded by a sheath with a sharp cutting edge, which can be advanced into any suspicious growth and from which it can remove a core. If the sample is benign, there may be no need for surgery.
“We can easily test any suspicious growth that we see,” he says. “It means the women who have discharge for innocent causes can be left alone.” Conventionally, the whole discharging duct has to be surgically removed for analysis.
In the United States, the MastaScope is already being used, albeit in just one or two centres, to screen for cancer in high-risk women. The currently untested theory is that, in those cases where cancer is detected, it will not only improve prognosis by finding the cancer when it is small but also eliminate the need for major surgery or preventive chemotherapy because there is no likelihood that the cancer will have spread.
Professor Mokbel is realistic that widespread use of ductoscopy and MastaScopy could be a long way off; the equipment is expensive and requires highly trained staff. But he’s confident that as its benefits become clear, it will eventually become a standard screening technique.
And he’s not the only enthusiast. Emma Pennery, a nurse-consultant for the charity Breast Cancer Care, says that ductoscopy has enormous promise. “Surgeons are quite excited by its potential,” she says. “It could have especially big implications if it simultaneously allows biopsy because that will mean there is less scarring and it will affect how women feel about their bodies as a consequence.”
A clearer picture
One Saturday afternoon, relaxing in her bath after a gym session, Beth Higson, 41, discovered a droplet of blood on her nipple as she sponged her breast. She went to Accident & Emergency and was told that though it was probably nothing to worry about she should see a specialist.
Within days she saw Kefah Mokbel, a consultant breast surgeon, privately. “He said he had a new ductoscopy procedure which could investigate what was going on,” says Higson, an estate agent from West London. Four days later, he performed the ductoscopy.
“I felt some pricks as he anaesthetised the nipple area, then he inserted the needle,” she says.
“The doctor could say immediately that it was an intraductal papilloma (a wart-like growth in the milk duct) and that although 95 per cent of the time they weren’t cancerous, it was best to remove it.” Because the ductoscopy had revealed the exact position of the growth, it could be removed with small excision, leaving a tiny scar on the nipple. In the end, the biopsy showed the growth was benign. The procedure was covered by Higson’s insurance, but it normally costs £300. Page 1 || Page 2