Nanotech imaging, molecular fingerprints and signatures hold promise for cancer

ORLANDO -- Scientists described three novel advances aimed at early detection of cancer--a critical key to controlling or curing the disease. Through analysis of molecular fingerprints or genetic signatures, scientists have devised technology to identify ovarian or prostate cancer. A third technology produces magnetic resonance portraits that define the extent of early metastasis in breast cancer. Researchers described advances in imaging technology, proteomic and metabolomic analysis that may lead to improved quality of life for patients with breast, ovarian or prostate cancer.

The new technologies were presented at the today 95th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research here today.

Lymphatic drainage imaging of the breast cancer in mice using the micro-magnetic resonance mammo-lymphangiography using a nano-size contrast agent: Abstract No. BA-4

A new advance in nanotechnology will allowphysicians to precisely track the early spread of breast cancer cells to surrounding lymph ducts and nodes, helping to better define or even eliminate surgery.

The development is based on nanotech engineering of G6, a contrast agent used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), said Hisataka Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D., staff scientist in the Molecular Imaging Program at the National Cancer Institute of the NIH.

Using G6 as a contrast agent, MRI technology visualizes metastases that have spread to the first and subsequent lymph ducts and nodes, thus defining the extent of surgery needed for the patient.

"In breast cancer patients, the presence of lymph node metastases greatly affects the prognosis, and the degree of surgical intervention needed," said Kobayashi. "If metastases have not advanced beyond the sentinel node, however, there is arguably no need to surgically remove extensive amounts of lymph nodes.

"With the knowledge of the exact location and extent of tumor inf

Contact: Aimee Frank
American Association for Cancer Research

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