Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Virtual Biopsy' - A New Way To Look At Cancer

Date:
May 30, 2003
Source:
Ohio State University Medical Center
Summary:
Scientists are using new imaging technology to help them perform "virtual biopsies," -- biological profiles of specific tumors that may help predict a patient's response to treatment and probability of long-term survival. This whole new realm of imaging is called functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), a process that offers insight into a tumor's character, not just its superficial structure.

Scientists are using new imaging technology to help them perform "virtual biopsies," – biological profiles of specific tumors that may help predict a patient's response to treatment and probability of long-term survival. This whole new realm of imaging is called functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), a process that offers insight into a tumor's character, not just its superficial structure.

Related Articles


Using functional MRI, Dr. Michael Knopp, a radiologist and a member of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center's Experimental Therapeutics Program, is studying breast, prostate, pancreatic tumors and others to see if some of their particular biological quirks are related to response to treatment and survival.

Knopp says while X-rays can reveal information about a tumor's size and shape, that information alone is not enough to help physicians plan and tailor some of the newest treatments. "It's not what we see, but what we don't that may be more important."

What X-rays don't show, but what functional MRI does, says Knopp, includes biological processes like angiogenesis, or blood vessel growth surrounding a tumor. Using MRI and special contrast agents, Knopp is able to determine the permeability, or "leakiness" of the tumor's support system. Early studies suggest the "leakier" the vessels, the more likely a patient will respond to treatment. "Functional MRI allows us to measure permeability; understanding that characteristic alone can help clinicians better manage the patient's care," says Knopp.

Functional MRI can also reveal a tumor's interior landscape, or it's heterogeneity. Knopp says some tumors are extremely heterogeneous – meaning they are not biologically uniform. Instead, many may contain clusters of "hot spots," clumps of cells that are biologically different and often resistant to treatment. "Functional MRI can help us identify those areas, understand their particular features, and hopefully, design targeted therapies for those specific sites," says Knopp.

In functional MRI, images are made by measuring minute radio waves produced when hydrogen atoms in the body are trapped and vibrate within a magnetic field. The varying intensity of the signal reveals structural features and biological patterns illuminated by injected contrast agents.

"Analyzing data from those images can help us literally see where some chemotherapies are effective, and others are not. We know, for example, that in many cases, treatment with chemotherapy may kill 70 or 80 percent of a cancer, but the remaining tumor cells remain problematic. Now, we can find out exactly where those resistant areas are and we can be more selective and precise with additional treatment," says Knopp. 

While functional MRI offers new ways to visualize cancer at work, it presents several problems that need to be solved before it becomes routinely useful in clinical care. It is still so new that scientists have yet to agree on standard methodology they will use to visualize what they want to see. That makes comparing studies and findings across multiple centers difficult. In addition, one study alone can generate as many as 700-800 images that need to be synthesized and read collectively for a complete analysis – a process requiring substantial computational power and highly-trained specialists.

"It's an emerging field, and we think we are just beginning to see what it can do," says Knopp.

Knopp reviewed functional MRI in oncology in an article in the April issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

His research is supported by the National Cancer Institute,The Wright Center of Innovation and the Ohio Biomedical Research and Technology Transfer Fund.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Medical Center. "'Virtual Biopsy' - A New Way To Look At Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030530081058.htm>.
Ohio State University Medical Center. (2003, May 30). 'Virtual Biopsy' - A New Way To Look At Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030530081058.htm
Ohio State University Medical Center. "'Virtual Biopsy' - A New Way To Look At Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030530081058.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins