colon and rectum. Polyps found during the procedure are typically biospied and analyzed. A new technique being developed at the Stanford University School of Medicine may one day detect colon cancer without a biopsy – including early stage cancers that have not yet become polyps. The study, led by Dr. Christopher Contag, used a unique protein that sticks to colon cells in the early stages of cancer. The protein was attached to a “fluorescent beacon”. When sprayed into the colon, and viewed with a Mauna Kea Technologies’ miniaturized microscope, CellVizio, researchers were able to see fluorescent patches where the protein had attached to cancerous cells. The fine resolution afforded by the technique (researchers could spot individual cancer cells) will allow for the detection of even early stage cancers. In the initial trial with 15 patients, the Contag detected 82% of cancerous polyps. Contag believes that by working with additional proteins, the technique will become even more accurate.