Tuesday, 23 June 2015 10:11

A Nigerian, Samuel Achilefu awarded in the U.S for invention of Cancer Goggles

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Samuel Achilefu One year after “cancer goggles” were first used in a successful breast cancer operation, Dr. Samuel Achilefu is still getting emails from surgeons all over the world, hoping for a chance to use them.

“We’ve been inundated,” he said from his desk in Washington University’s Mallinckrodt Institute, hours before receiving the 2014 St. Louis Award for his invention.

Achilefu counts 27 surgeries where his technology has been worn by doctors operating on patients with breast cancer, liver cancer and melanoma. An injected dye reacts with infrared light to make cancerous tissue light up, helping surgeons locate the tumor and separate it from healthy tissue.

He said he hopes the device becomes a cheaper, easier way for doctors to “see” tumors here and in the developing world. Because the goggles also project the surgeon’s view onto a computer screen, they could be adapted for use as a teaching tool.

Achilefu said the idea for the goggles was borrowed from other medical disciplines and born out of a need to reduce the number of instruments in a surgery room.

“Ophthalmologists use glasses. Neurosurgeons do the same thing, but with large microscopes,” Achilefu said. “The idea was what is the simplest device to create that is easy to use but still effective.”

Developing the goggles became a three year collaboration between radiologists, optical and sensory engineers, and surgeons — a tting development for the same radiology institute that invented the PET scan.

The St. Louis Award is given each year to honor a resident who has made an “outstanding contribution” to the community. Achilefu accepted his during a ceremony Wednesday evening in St. Louis.

Speaking by phone with St. Louis Public Radio, award committee president David Kemper said, “It just seemed natural,” to choose Achilefu for the honor.

“None of us knew him, but we knew of what was going on. We thought, ‘Well, isn’t this fascinating, what a great contribution to society,’” Kemper said.

achilefu-2x

 

Samuel Achilefu

Achilefu grew up in the city of Aba, in southeastern Nigeria. After winning a government scholarship to study in France, he completed his studies at Oxford University before following a longtime mentor to the Mallinckrodt lab in 1993. He lives in the St. Louis area with his wife and two teenage children.

“I’m a good example that if you place anybody in a place and ask them to survive, they will. They will adapt to that language,” Achilefu joked. He speaks three languages uently: Igbo, English and French.

As for the future of the goggles, Achilefu said he’d like to see them become easily accessible to low-resource areas, such as urban centers and rural hospitals. He and his colleagues are gathering data to apply for FDA approval.

“I hope that in other developing parts of the world that can’t afford imaging technologies, this becomes affordable and useful for them,” he said.

Another step will be adapting the goggles to magnify the surgeon’s view to streamline brain surgeries. Achilefu said that ideally, the image would be sharp enough to be magnified so that even a single cell could be identified by a neurosurgeon.

“Medicine becomes more objective if you can see what you are treating.” Achilefu said. “You have the confidence you are doing the right thing to the patient.”

achilefu 1Other patents (inventions) owned by the same Samuel Achilefu (St. Louis, MO)

1 8,658,433 Dye compounds as photoactive agents

2 8,344,158 Fluorescent polymethine cyanine dyes

3 8,318,133 Macrocyclic cyanine and indocyanine bioconjugates provide improved biomedical applications

4 8,053,415 Compounds having RD targeting motifs

5 7,850,946 Macrocyclic cyanine and indocyanine bioconjugates provide improved biomedical applications

6 7,790,144 Receptor-avid exogenous optical contrast and therapeutic agents

7 7,767,194 Optical diagnostic and therapeutic agents and compositions

8 7,758,861 Dye-sulfenates for dual phototherapy

9 7,608,244 Hydrophilic light absorbing compositions for determination of physiological function in critically ill patients

10 7,566,444 Versatile hydrophilic dyes

11 7,556,797 Minimally invasive physiological function monitoring agents

12 7,514,069 Tumor-targeted optical contrast agents

13 7,510,700 Pathological tissue detection and treatment employing targeted benzoindole optical agents

14 7,504,087 Receptor-avid exogenous optical contrast and therapeutic agents

15 7,468,177 Hydrophilic light absorbing compositions for determination of physiological function in critically ill patients

16 7,438,894 Dyes for organ function monitoring

17 7,431,925 Internal image antibodies for optical imaging and therapy

18 7,427,657 Aromatic sulfenates for type 1 phototherapy

19 7,351,807 Cyanine-sulfenates for dual phototherapy

20 7,303,926 Methods and compositions for dual phototherapy

21 7,297,325 Hydrophilic light absorbing compositions for determination of physiological function

22 7,252,815 Pathological tissue detection and treatment employing targeted benzoindole optical agents

23 7,235,685 Aromatic sulfenates for type I phototherapy

24 7,230,088 Compounds for dual photodiagnosis and therapy

25 7,201,892 Pathological tissue detection and treatment employing targeted optical agents

26 7,198,778 Tumor-targeted optical contrast agents

27 7,175,831 Light sensitive compounds for instant determination of organ function

28 7,128,896 Pathological tissue detection and treatment employing targeted benzoindole optical agents

29 7,011,817 Hydrophilic cyanine dyes

30 6,939,532 Versatile hydrophilic dyes

31 6,887,854 Compounds as dynamic organ function monitoring agents

32 6,761,878 Pathological tissue detection and treatment employing targeted benzoindole optical agents

33 6,747,151 Azo compounds for type I phototherapy

34 6,733,744 Indole compounds as minimally invasive physiological function monitoring agents

35 6,716,413 Indole compounds as tissue-specific exogenous optical agents

36 6,706,254 Receptor-avid exogenous optical contrast and therapeutic agents

37 6,673,334 Light sensitive compounds for instant determination of organ function

38 6,669,926 Hydrophilic light absorbing indole compounds for determination of physiological function in critically ill patients

39 6,663,847 Dynamic organ function monitoring agents

40 6,656,451 Indole compounds as novel dyes for organ function monitoring

41 6,641,798 Tumor-targeted optical contrast agents

42 6,485,704 Azo compound for type I pototherapy

43 6,423,547 Non-covalent bioconjugates useful for diagnosis and therapy

44 6,395,257 Dendrimer precursor dyes for imaging

45 6,280,703 Simultaneous multimodal measurement of physiological function

46 6,277,841 Quinoline ligands and metal complexes for diagnosis and therapy

47 6,264,920 Tunable indocyanine dyes for biomedical applications

48 6,264,919 Indocyanine dyes

49 6,228,344 Method of measuring physiological function

50 6,217,848 Cyanine and indocyanine dye bioconjugates for biomedical applications

51 6,190,641 Indocyanine dyes

52 6,183,726 Versatile hydrophilic dyes

53 6,180,087 Tunable indocyanine dyes for biomedical applications

54 6,180,086 Hydrophilic cyanine dyes

55 6,180,085 Dyes

56 6,013,243 Gaseous inhalable ultrasound contrast agents and method therefore

49 6,228,344 Method of measuring physiological function

50 6,217,848 Cyanine and indocyanine dye bioconjugates for biomedical applications

51 6,190,641 Indocyanine dyes

52 6,183,726 Versatile hydrophilic dyes

53 6,180,087 Tunable indocyanine dyes for biomedical applications

54 6,180,086 Hydrophilic cyanine dyes

55 6,180,085 Dyes

56 6,013,243 Gaseous inhalable ultrasound contrast agents and method therefore

-Africa Leadership

Read 690 times