Chemotherapy is a powerful weapon against cancer, but certain cells resist treatment by entering a dormant stage called senescence. These therapy-induced senescent (TIS) cells may become resistant to therapy and even turn aggressive and spread. Detecting TIS cells early could be pivotal in preventing their growth, but current screening methods fall short in speed and accuracy. The researchers say that their new rapid-live screening microscopy techniques hold enormous promise for the future of cancer studies. "While further research is needed, our results suggest label-free microscopy could become a vital tool to boost treatment efficacy and prevent tumor recurrence by detecting TIS cells early.