By analysing the data collected in the US, UK and India, a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (IIMS) has found that laser scanners are far more accurate than MRI scanners.
This is in part due to the fact that lasers can be used to scan tissues without damaging them, and they can detect cancerous cells without harming them.
“In many instances, laser scanning is much more effective than MRI scanning in detecting cancerous tumors, especially when it comes to the size and distribution of tumours,” Dr Sudhakar Reddy, lead author of the study from IIMS, said in a statement.
The team’s findings have now been published in the journal Lancet Oncology.
It is unclear if laser scanning will become the standard method for cancer diagnosis and treatment in the near future, though the study suggests that its widespread use could be the reason for this.
It may not have been an entirely scientific decision to make, however.
It would be difficult to replicate the results of the Indian study because there is a lack of evidence that laser scans can detect malignant cells in the brain.
The researchers found that in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, laser scans performed with a laser pointer were significantly more accurate and precise than MRI scans.
“When comparing MRI and laser scanning, we could see that laser scanning performed by the patient was significantly more effective in detecting the presence of cancerous tumours and thus the treatment of these tumours.
In contrast, MRI scans are more sensitive to the presence and distribution and cannot detect cancer cells,” Dr Reddy said.
The research was led by Dr R. Ramasamy, director of the Centre for Laser Imaging at IIMs.
In India, laser scanners have been used for decades to treat cancer patients and patients with other conditions.
But in India, they are still used only in the most advanced stages of cancer diagnosis.
Laser scanners were first used to treat cancers in the 1990s and are still widely used to perform scans in India and around the world.
The IIM’s team found that a study conducted in the United States showed that the detection rate of a laser scanner in a patient’s tumour was around 70 per cent.
This rate was higher than the detection rates of MRI scanners, which were around 30 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.
The difference in accuracy was not seen in other studies conducted in India.
The Indian study was led in part by Dr Pratap Das, a medical doctor from IIS.
He told the BBC that he believes laser scanners could be a useful tool in cancer diagnosis in the future, especially for those who are suffering from advanced cancers.
“The fact that these lasers have a sensitivity of 80 per cent may help to provide a more accurate, non-invasive approach to cancer diagnosis, especially if the patient has other treatments for their cancer,” he said.