Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MIT Aims Radar Research At Breast Cancer

Date:
April 21, 2004
Source:
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Summary:
A breast cancer treatment based on MIT radar research that was originally aimed at detecting space-borne missiles is showing promise in the final phase of clinical testing.

Left: To detect and destroy an enemy missile, microwave energy is targeted on the missile while simultaneously nullifying enemy jammers. Right: To kill a cancerous tumor, microwave energy is focused on the tumor while simultaneously nullifying any energy that would overheat surrounding health tissue.
Credit: Image courtesy Massachusetts Institute Of Technology

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A breast cancer treatment based on MIT radar research that was originally aimed at detecting space-borne missiles is showing promise in the final phase of clinical testing.

Preliminary results to be presented on Wednesday, April 21 at the 9th International Congress on Hyperthermic Oncology in St. Louis show that women with early-stage breast cancer who received the MIT treatment prior to lumpectomy had a 43 percent reduction in the incidence rate of cancer cells found close to the surgical margins. This is important because additional breast surgery and/or radiation therapy are often recommended for patients that have cancer cells close to the edge of the lumpectomy surgical margin.

"One of the primary objectives of this randomized study is to demonstrate that heat can affect and kill early-stage breast cancer cells prior to surgery," said William C. Dooley, director of surgical oncology at the University of Oklahoma Breast Institute and principal investigator of the ongoing study. "With this focused heat treatment, it may be possible for the surgeon to provide better margins for the patient and possibly avoid additional treatment procedures and avoid recurrence of the cancer."

Since October 2002, 90 women with early-stage breast cancer have enrolled in the study, in which microwave energy focused externally on the breast is delivered to tumors prior to lumpectomy. The goal is to use focused heat to kill tumor cells and reduce additional surgery (see earlier story at http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/nr/2000/fenn.html).

The current results are based on the 64 women who have completed the study.

Treating cancer with heat is not a new idea, but "researchers were having trouble using it to treat tumors deep within the body," said Alan Fenn, a senior staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and inventor of the technique. Further, it's difficult to deliver the heat only to cancer cells and not overheat normal tissue.

The microwaves in the new technique "heat--and kill--cells containing high amounts of water," he said. Cancer cells have a high water content (around 80 percent), while healthy breast tissue contains much less.

The outpatient procedure uses a single tiny needle probe to sense and measure parameters during treatment. Side effects appear to be minimal.

Patients in the thermotherapy group of the current study receive a minimally invasive heat treatment prior to surgery and radiation therapy, while patients in the control group receive surgery alone prior to radiation therapy. Preliminary results indicate that in the thermotherapy group, 5 of 30 (16.7%) patients had tumor cells close to the surgical margins, whereas in the group receiving surgery alone, 10 of 34 (29.4%) patients had tumor cells close to the margin.

The women participating in this ongoing clinical trial are being treated at the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the Comprehensive Breast Center in Coral Springs, Fla., the Mroz-Baier Breast Care Clinic in Memphis, Tenn., and several other breast centers in the United States.

Previous Phase II, or dose-escalation, results of the breast cancer heat treatment were reported in the February 2004 issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology. The data for breast cancer patients treated in the dose-escalation trial were submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to support allowance to proceed with the randomized trial currently underway.

Celsion Corp. exclusively licenses the focused microwave thermotherapy technology from MIT. The company has developed the clinical thermotherapy system and is funding the current clinical studies. The Department of the Air Force funded the original MIT Lincoln Laboratory research by Fenn.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "MIT Aims Radar Research At Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040416010315.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. (2004, April 21). MIT Aims Radar Research At Breast Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040416010315.htm
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "MIT Aims Radar Research At Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040416010315.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. 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:
from the past week

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