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    Device detects melanoma with light


    Vancouver, British Columbia — A device invented by a Canadian dermatologist may be able to detect early-stage melanoma using light, according to Canada’s TheGlobeandMail.com.

    The device, named Verisante Aura, was developed at the BC Cancer Agency by David McLean, M.D., and colleagues. It uses fiber optics to gather wavelengths emitted by various molecules in response to laser light. Cancer molecules show up as abnormalities on a computer screen.

    “We found that certain skin lesions, certain skin diseases, had certain signatures … that would appear to be unique,” the Globe and Mail quotes Dr. McLean as saying.

    Verisante Aura was tested on 1,000 skin lesions at the Skin Care Centre in Vancouver. Preliminary results show that the device picked up every case of melanoma in 274 lesions flagged for biopsy.

    According to Dr. McLean, professor of dermatology at the University of British Columbia, early data suggests the device also has a high detection rate for basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, and may identify precancerous lesions. He says the Verisante Aura is easier to use than laser hair-removal devices and cannot damage the skin.

    The device is expected to be approved by Health Canada later this year.

    Bill Gillette
    Bill Gillette is a freelance writer based in Richmond Heights, Ohio.

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