Eye Cancer App Helps Save Lives

Contact Information
Tonya B. Lewis, (254) 710-4656, or the Office of Media Communications at (254) 710-1961

Bryan Shaw, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, discovered, through the use of amateur digital photography, evidence of leukocoria or "white eye," the cardinal symptom of retinoblastoma, which can be seen in photographs during the earliest stages of the disease. His findings paved the way for a new diagnostic tool that enables earlier diagnosis and treatment. Retinoblastoma, mostly occurring in children from birth to 5-years-old, is an aggressive eye cancer that, if not treated in time, can be fatal if it spreads to the brain.

Based on his research findings, Shaw partnered with Greg Hamerly, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science and director of the computer science graduate program, to create CRADLE, an app that detects leukocoria or white eye. Since its creation, less than a year ago, it has lead to several diagnosis of retinoblastoma and other eye diseases in the United States and around the world. 

Related Links  Eye Tumor

Bryan Shaw, Ph.D.

Shaw Laboratory

Greg Hamerly, Ph.D.

Automatic leukocoria detection

CRADLE app (Apple)

Media stories about the research and app


• Huff Post Live, July 16: This Dad Created A Medical App That's Helping Children Around The Globe

• Huff Post Live, July 16: The Impact Of Medical Apps On Healthcare (VIDEO)


• Baylor Magazine, Winter 2014: Family photos help detect cancer

• The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), Nov. 4: Health briefs: Campaign spreads word on developmental milestones

• Waco Tribune-Herald, Nov. 2: Eye cancer in children? Baylor profs develop an app for that

• NPR Morning Edition, Oct. 31: Look Here: Phone App Checks Photos For Eye Disease (AUDIO)

• NPR, Aug. 11: Where We Learn That Artificial Eyes Really Aren't Round At All (AUDIO)

• WBZ-TV (CBS Boston), June 6: “White Eye” Photos May Be Sign Of Serious Disease (VIDEO)

• NPR Morning Edition (Part 1), May 6: Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis (AUDIO)

• WBUR Radio (Boston), May 6: Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis (AUDIO)

• NPR Morning Edition (Part 2), May 7: Faith Drives A Father To Create A Test For Childhood Cancer (AUDIO)

• Texas Public Radio, May 7:  Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis (AUDIO)


• NPR, Nov. 6: How Pictures Of Infant Boy's Eyes Helped Diagnose Cancer


TEDxUtica Talk: Can smartphones and facebook help kids survive eye cancer?

PopTech: Joe Palca with Inventors