New digital technology allows for faster and more accurate cancer diagnosis

(OHIO) WOIO - New technology is constantly put to the test in medicine, often allowing doctors to go beyond what can be seen through a microscope. Some of the latest digital technology could revolutionize how cancer is diagnosed.

Advances in that area are now benefiting patients and doctors like never imagined just a few short years ago. Mike Minshell said he will never forget when he was told he had just two months to live. It was devastating for him and his family.

"The tears well up in your eyes and I was standing there with my wife and my son and you know almost break down completely," Minshell said.

But a year later, thanks to a critical second opinion from the James Cancer Hospital resulting in a different treatment strategy, Minshell's prognosis is much brighter.

The new digital pathology technology allows for not only faster diagnoses but, also more accurate, the first time around.

"It has revolutionized cancer diagnostics. And this technology gives me the tools to answer the question which I couldn't do that 5 years ago," Dr. Anil Parwani said.

The tumor cells are put in the usual slides, but everything after that changes.

"With digital pathology, you take those same glass slides and you digitize them and create millions of pixels, converting them into a large image," Parwani said.

He adds the digital images are far easier to store, share and access and a diagnosis can be done in hours, not weeks. The technology allows doctors to more accurately stage and grade specific types of cancer.

That's certainly something Minshell can appreciate, now that he's gotten an accurate diagnosis, he is cancer-free.

"Thank God my son and daughter-in- law were pushing me and my wife, to go and get this other opinion," Minshell said.

After years of testing, the technology got FDA approval just this spring and likely will benefit patients globally within the next few years.

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