Ever heard of the iKnife?

Sound dangerous, doesn’t it? But it actually looks like it will save lives. Listen to what Dr James Kinross of Imperial College in London has to say in this one and a half minute long video: 

After the iPod, iPhone and iPad here comes the iKnife. Love the name not least since it looks like it could be really helpful in combatting cancer. As wonderful as the other i-products are, the iKnife could be the best invention of them all. However, more research is apparently needed before widespread use. But hopefully the results continue to be positive. If so, it seems Imperial College has found a miracle cure for cancer.

Smoke detects cancer

It really is about time that there is a huge breakthrough in cancer treatment. A knife that identifies cancer cells presumably will go a long way towards saving lives. So far it has successfully been used to remove breast and bowel cancers due to smoke distinguishing between healty and sick cells. If it lives up to expectations it could even make biopsies redundant.

Do you agree with me that this could be a really innovative and fantastic product? Did you know that healthy cells and cancer cells have different smoke signatures? Will the results so far hold and help surgeons combat cancer? Could the iKnife be the breakthrough in fighting cancer that the world desperately needs? Or do you believe it will turn out to be too good to be true? Cancer has, after all, been a difficult nut to crack. 

Video: AssociatedPress – You Tube

42 thoughts on “Ever heard of the iKnife?

  1. As a breast cancer survivor I would have loved if I had the opportunity to have selected the use of the Iknife. I had to undergo 5 surgeries and waiting in between for the biopsy reports. The pathology lab can take up two weeks for the reports. It would have been nice if I could have had one surgery. I am a cancer survivor of 5 years.

  2. You hit the nail on the head! I'm ashamed to say that cancer is big business in the United States and treating it is a pharmaceutical, medical and insurance cash cow. Great documentaries have been done on this issue so as much as I like the idea I worry that we would be the last to approve it!

    1. It's lamentable isn't it, Stephanie. And lobbyists from the US are working hard at getting the same system implemented in Europe. Hopefully the European Union will not fall for their arguments.

  3. One of my husband's colleagues, a surgeon, is experimenting with using UV light to identify tumor cells during surgery. I think he must mark the area with some substance that makes them visible under a special light. Progress in medicine in science is often not achieved through giant leaps, but rather, baby steps. It's hard to be patient when someone you love is the patient.l
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  4. When I worked in the field of investor relations I noticed that detection and cure methods were more focused on in European countries, so I found this interesting. In the US it seems that we are more likely to decline alternative treatment/cure procedures than embrace them, particularly if they are from the UK but this may be one of those things that we approve.

    1. Stephanie, can't help wondering if the reason detect and cure methods are less focused on in the US is because of the power of pharmaceutical products. If the iKnife turns out to be a break through I sincerely hope that it's approved in the US.

    1. Jeannette, don’t you think it’s a great name? Being associated with Apple’s successful products should give the iKnife the attention it seems to deserve. Would not have made a post about it if it wasn’t for the name. Would also surprise me enormously if scientists will work less hard on making it work because of the name. The name could actually result in more funding due to the attention it gets.

  5. This truly sounds amazing, Catarina! Cancer really runs in my family, and each step forward such as this one, is definitely something to celebrate.
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  6. It sounds good in theory. I'll wait and see. I'm less enthusiastic about more cancer detection methods than I would be on cancer cures. Some researchers have studied food and cancer for many years (there's a Ted Talk somewhere on this topic), and I find that more encouraging. But no one would make money on food, so it gets little attention.
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  7. That is fantastic Catarina. iLikeIt. teehee

    Just less than an hour from where I live we have a Proton Therapy Institute. They say it is the most precise form of radiation treatment and can target the tumors while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. It takes just seconds and is completely painless during and after.

    It is really something wonderful.
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    1. Yes let's hope the great results with iKnife continues, Pat. Sounds like the Proton Therapy Institute is a bit similar. Mind you there is a huge difference between surgery and radiation. Not sure which is worse but certainly would prefer to avoid both options:-)

  8. I think it's an amazing idea if it's going to be made available to everyone. I see health care though in the US and wonder if all health insurance companies will cover it as some of my friends are going through cancer treatment at the moment and some of the treatments are not covered through Medicare. One friend had to wait a couple of months while Medicare decided to cover her treatment. She is not only battling illness but the insurance companies… That is crazy so I hope it's not going to be only for the privilged few

    1. The iKnife hopefully is an advancement in cancer treatment, Claire. When it comes to health insurance in the US though it's all about greed. In Europe it's more about getting treatment for everybody. Mind you US pharmaceutical and insurance company lobbyists from the US is trying to stop it here as well. It's a deplorable development. Hope your friend gets the treatment she needs. There is no excuse for not giving it to her in a Western democracy. Imagine that greed can be allowed to trump saving lives.

      1. Well, they just passed a bill here that you can't sue generic drug companies here either… So if you take a generic drug, you take the gamble… Is it really worth it? I'd rather stick to my homeopathic remedies 🙂

  9. What a fascinating and amazing discovery. It's not just the ability of the smoke to detect the cancerous cells, but the time in surgery that's saved. It's also excellent that the research stems from investment from the European Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research in Great Britain. It demonstrates what amazing things can be accomplished with government collaboration and investment in the sciences. We are making such amazing leaps and bounds in technology, it really makes you optimistic for the future. Thank you so much for sharing.
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  10. I sincerely hope that this is the break through that is needed. It is a shame that so many people worldwide have to suffer from something that is so difficult to diagnose in time and treat. The number of lives that are lost due to cancer is tragically high and I hope they are able to find a cure or a way to better diagnose/treat cancer before we have to lose too many more loved ones.
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  11. Dear but what is meant mean by "smoke" at first and what is the mechanism of action related to ???

  12. Sounds like a great invention, Catarina, for those cancers that develop tumours that can then be excised. In conjunction with the research on targetted drug deliver using nanoparticles we are hopefully close to being able to cure cancer!

  13. Oh wouldn't it be fabulous if it does live up to expectations. Cancer is such an insidious disease and it would be wonderful to make a break through.
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  14. I saw a report on this last week and it seems like a excellent improvement, especially as they don't have to wait for the pathology results. Also in the report it mentioned that it would help surgeons who operate on people with suspected brain cancers because it appears it can be difficult to identify tissues that could be cancerous versus normal tissues.
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