Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better marker for breast cancer may reduce need for second surgeries

Date:
October 14, 2010
Source:
University of California -- San Diego
Summary:
A new material could help surgeons more accurately locate breast cancers, reduce the need for second surgeries and minimize pre-surgical discomfort for patients. Microscopic gas-filled spheres of silica, a porous glass, can mark the location of early-stage tumors to show their position using ultrasound imaging in the operating room.

A scanning electron micrograph of porous silica microspheres filled with perfluoropentane vapor. This new material, invented at the University of California -- San Diego, is visible with Doppler ultrasound, sticks to breast tissue and can mark the location of tumors too small to be seen or felt during surgery.
Credit: Paul Martinez, UCSD

A new material could help surgeons more accurately locate breast cancers, reduce the need for second surgeries and minimize pre-surgical discomfort for patients. Microscopic gas-filled spheres of silica, a porous glass, can mark the location of early-stage tumors to show their position using ultrasound imaging in the operating room.

A team of chemists, radiologists and surgeons at the University of California, San Diego, created the new material, which they describe in a forthcoming issue of the journal MedChemComm.

The X-rays used to make mammograms reveal calcium deposits associated with breast cancer even in tumors too small to be felt. But surgeons can't use X-rays while operating. Instead, radiologists place guide wires into tumors hours or even the day before surgery. The wires don't mark depth well and can shift. Patients find them both uncomfortable and unsettling.

As an alternative, the researchers created spheres of silica and filled them with perfluoropentane, a gas that has been used before in short-lived contrast materials for medical imaging. The rigid silica shells help the new material last longer.

"These little gas-filled microbubbles stick to human breast tissue for days and can be seen with ultrasound," said William Trogler, professor chemistry. "If doctors placed them in early stage breast cancer, which is difficult to see during surgery, they could help surgeons remove all of it in the first operation."

In the past few years, radiologists have tried implanting radioactive "seeds" instead of wires to mark tumors, but the seeds last only a few hours and must be inserted with a large-bore needle, which is painful. In addition, only one abnormal region can be marked, but patients with a form of breast cancer called ductal in situ carcinoma often have several. The seeds also expose both patient and staff to radiation, can't been imaged in three dimensions and create radioactive medical waste.

At just two micrometers in diameter -- half the width of a strand of spider silk -- small silica microbubbles can be precisely injected into clusters of abnormal cells using a thin needle. Radiologists would be able to inject the durable material days before surgery. And ultrasound scans reveal the position of the bubble in three dimensions on the operating table.

"Instead of just using a Geiger-counterlike device to say you're getting closer to the radioactive seed, you could actually see where to carve," said Andrew Kummel, professor of chemistry. The increased precision should help surgeons avoid the need for second surgeries.

"By outlining the tumor more completely in multiple directions, the particles could potentially help surgeons remove non-palpable tumors in a single operation," said Sarah Blair, a surgeon at Moores UCSD Cancer Center. "They will definitely make the operation more comfortable for patients."

The researchers think the ultrasound pressure waves burst the microbubbles. "They're thin, fragile balls of porous glass, like Christmas tree ornaments," Kummel said. "The shell is just one two-hundredth of the diameter of the ball. When it breaks, the gas squirts out. Doppler ultrasound detects that movement."

Nano-scale silica microbubbles, which the team reports in this paper as well, are too small to remain in place, but might drain from a cancerous site to help identify which lymph nodes are most likely to contain stray cells that could help the cancer spread.

The current study demonstrates the feasibility of the technology in tissue samples. Tests in animal models are underway, and toxicology studies must also be completed before clinical trials in humans could begin.

Chemists Bill Trogler, and Andy Kummel, of UCSD's Division of Physical Sciences, and radiologist Robert Mattrey and surgeon Sarah Blair of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center led the project. Additional co-authors include radiologist Yuko Kono, and Sergio Sandoval, Moores UCSD Cancer Center; Paul Martinez of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Jessica Wang-Rodriguez of the Department of Pathology.

The National Cancer Institute provided financial support for this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California -- San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H. Paul Martinez, Yuko Kono, Sarah L. Blair, Sergio Sandoval, Jessica Wang-Rodriguez, Robert F. Mattrey, Andrew C. Kummel and William C. Trogler. Hard shell gas-filled contrast enhancement particles for colour Doppler ultrasound imaging of tumors. MedChemComm, 2010 DOI: 10.1039/C0MD00139B

Cite This Page:

University of California -- San Diego. "Better marker for breast cancer may reduce need for second surgeries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100919103204.htm>.
University of California -- San Diego. (2010, October 14). Better marker for breast cancer may reduce need for second surgeries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100919103204.htm
University of California -- San Diego. "Better marker for breast cancer may reduce need for second surgeries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100919103204.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. 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