London: Scientists claim to have devised a "magic bullet" to detect very early cancers.
A team at the University of Nottingham says that it`s, in fact, pioneering a microscopic "fat bubble" which can home in on tumour sites and relay the location, thus enabling doctors to detect early cancer.
They say the technique, being co-developed with a team at the University of Queensland in Australia, could be available in surgeries within a decade, British newspaper the `Sunday Express` reported.
Ultrasound expert Dr Melissa Mather, who led the team, said: "This is very exciting. These bubbles can detect disease at a molecular level while existing scanning techniques, including X-rays and MRIs, can only pick things up at later stages, after there have been physical changes."
The bubbles, called nano-transducers, are made from fat found in the membrane of naturally occurring cells. They are injected into the blood and give off sound waves when exposed to an electric charge, allowing doctors to locate tumours.