Ongoing efforts by scientists, researchers, and physicians have led to significant progress in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer. Nevertheless, cancer is responsible for one-quarter of all deaths in the United States and recognized as the second leading cause of death worldwide. Breast cancer is currently the most common type of cancer (based on the number of estimated new cases in 2018), and one in every eight women will be diagnosed during her lifetime – a simply staggering and unacceptable statistic.
CANCER SCAN is a project focused on developing an innovative breast cancer detection method based on optic and quantum technologies, which will improve detection rates, minimize radiation exposure, and save lives.
CANCER SCAN plans to develop a radically new unified technological concept of biomedical cancer detection utilizing. This project is at the forefront of research aimed at integrating quantum science into medical applications. Recent technological advances allow scientists to control quantum systems and exploit quantum physics (particularly the properties of quantum entanglement, superposition, and tunneling) in new ways and at scales previously unimaginable. The nascent interdisciplinary field of quantum technology (QT) has emerged to shepherd this exponential progress and chart the course of today's quantum revolution.
The new concept is based on non-invasive utilization of light and the unified transmission and detection of photons in multi-dimensional space. Greater understanding and the application of these concepts will enable the development of a revolutionary scanner capable of detecting cancer not only in a specified organ but simultaneously in other parts of the body, even from remote locations, with no radiation risk whatsoever.
The pilot project, coordinated by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, will focus on the early detection of breast cancer. Current methods used to detect and identify the disease (CT and PET scans and mammograms) are radiation-based, with associated radiation exposure. Mammography, the state of the art method for breast cancer screening, is limited in its sensitivity, particularly in younger women and/or women with dense breasts, and has been found to be problematic in women with genetic mutations. Thus, the development of an improved and more reliable detection method is of paramount importance, especially given the prevalence of breast cancer.
The project will be both theoretical and experimental in nature and include the derivation of a mathematical model and the development of an experimental bio-compatible testbed for cancer detection. The project lies at the cutting edge of science and technology, combining the development of a novel technology in an emerging domain with the long-term vision of integrating quantum science into medical applications, to respond a pressing medical need and provide an improved and comprehensive solution for disease detection. In the long-term, we expect that this approach will be adapted to other areas of biomedical diagnostics, leading to total mass screening.