July 14, 2016

Pioneer of high-technology cancer surgery will lecture at UAB on July 19

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surgery 3The plenary speaker of the fourth annual UAB Metabolomics Workshop will be James Kinross, M.D., FACS, of St. Mary’s Hospital, London.

He will talk on a revolutionary new mass spectrometry method called the iKnife — short for “intelligent knife” — that allows a surgeon to accurately identify cancer margins and thereby contribute to precision surgery and medicine. Kinross is a consultant colorectal surgeon at St. Mary’s, which is part of the Imperial College group. He collaborates with colleagues in the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College, inventors of this technology.

The iKnife takes advantage of the “smoke” created when surgeons make incisions into tissues with a cauterizing knife. The smoke is swept into an “electronic nose” for analysis with a mass spectrometer. Within seconds, the origin of the tissue — primary or secondary tumor versus normal tissue — can be determined, allowing the surgeon to make real-time decisions about how to proceed.

The iKnife has also been used to analyze pathology specimens and recently helped establish the authenticity of meat products, including a horse meat contamination incident in Great Britain.

The lecture, “The iKnife: Translational metabolic phenotyping for precision surgery,” is 9:30-10:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 19, in the Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium. It is open to all UAB staff and faculty.

YouTube has a webinar by Kinross, produced by the Cleveland Clinic, on the technology, principles and current applications of the iKnife in surgery.