Indore: Scientists at the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT) in Indore on Friday proudly flaunted their Make in India initiative, a diagnostic device that claims to detect oral cancer during the early stages. This device, named as OncoDiagnoScope, was developed after over two decades of research work done by senior RRCAT scientist Dr Shovan K Majumder and his team.
Speaking to News18 over the phone, Dr Majumdar said, "Neither conventional biopsies nor X-Rays, MRIs or Ultrasounds can detect cancer in the very early stages, when changes to tissues begin to take place." However, he claimed that the OncoDiagnoScope can do that based on its method of optical spectroscopy.
As against 48 hours taken by the conventional methods of detecting cancer, this portable device claims to offer an accurate result in as little as 15 minutes, he said adding that its portability and cost effectiveness makes the device an ideal tool for cancer detection in rural areas through health camps.
Dr Majumdar also said the device was tested successfully on patients at different hospitals and medical camps.
Due to its small size and portability, the device has been given the shape of a pencil and can be carried around anywhere, making it convenient for people to use. Absolute non-invasive in nature, the device is unlike the conventional processes of painful biopsies, he added.
The device has been given a colour-code algorithm to display the results of a test. A green light after the test symbolises normal tissues, while an orange light represents suspicious cases of cancer and a red light indicates cancerous tissues.
This LED-based system, validated by the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, is already being used at various hospitals across the country including the Raman Foundation Cancer Hospital and Research at Indore, the Govt Medical College in Indore, the Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital in Sangrur and more.
The technology for OncoDiagnoScope has also been adopted by Electronics Corporation of India Limited in Hyderabad.
The device holds huge significance at a time when cases of oral and cervical cancers are so common and are alarmingly on the rise in India. The survival rate in these cases remains at 80% in prime stages but drops to around 20% in last few stages. Presently, scientists the the RRCAT are working to develop an OncoDiagnoScope that can detect cervical cancer during its early stages.
Besides, the RRCAT on Friday also displayed the Tuberculoscope, a device that that detects Tuberculosis in its early stages, providing test results in just few minutes. Both the devices were on display during an exhibition organised at RRCAT on National Science Day.