Prodding cells can reveal risky cancers


By Amanda Gefter POKING a single cell with a nanoscale probe can reveal whether it is cancerous and can even help predict if the cancer is about to spread. The discovery could help doctors decide how aggressively they should treat a particular tumour. The standard method for determining whether biopsied cells are cancerous is to examine their size and shape and to use antibody stains to detect the presence of proteins specific to certain cancers. However, neither technique reveals whether a tumour is about to spread, or “metastasise”. In previous research on cultured cells,
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