The Flexible Autonomous Sensor measuring Tumors (FAST) device could represent a new, fast, inexpensive, hands-free, and accurate way to test the efficacy of cancer drugs, and even lead to promising new directions in cancer treatment, according to the researchers. 

The process of finding new therapies for the detection of subcutaneous tumours is slow because technologies for measuring tumour regression from drug treatment take weeks to read out a response, making drug screenings difficult and labour-intensive.

"In some cases, the tumours under observation must be measured by hand with callipers," says Alex Abramson, the project's lead researcher.

In contrast to the less-than-ideal use of metal pincer-like callipers to measure soft tissues, and radiological approaches that cannot deliver the data needed for real-time assessment, FAST can detect changes in tumour volume on the minute-timescale. 

The non-invasive, battery-operated device is...

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