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OHSU scientists develop MRI approach to improve breast cancer detection

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To conduct this research project, the scientists analyzed data from six patients identified as having breast tumors with mammograms (X-rays.) In procedures conducted by New York research collaborators Drs. Wei Huang, Alina Tudorica, and Thomas Yankeelov of Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, the patients were injected with a contrast agent, which acts like an MRI dye and provides clearer images. The patients received MRI scans as the dye passed through the tumors. The time courses of the MRI signals were analyzed with the shutter speed model. The results showed hot spots only in images of malignant tumors but not in the benign tumors (three of the cases). This complete distinction was not the case using the standard MRI technique, and there was no distinction using mammography. Pathology results on these tumors confirmed the accuracy of the new MRI testing.

"While continued research is required, we believe shutter speed analyzed MRI could become a powerful tool for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and almost any other form of cancer, as well as many other pathologies," explained Springer. "The shutter speed is a very general concept and applies to a great many different MRI techniques."

"We are fortunate to have recruited Dr. Springer and his team to lead the imaging research activities at OHSU and the OHSU Cancer Institute." said Grover C. Bagby Jr., M.D., Director of the OHSU Cancer Institute. "His 'shutter-speed' model has the potential of changing our approach to cancer screening in general and may also play a role in determining the early effects of treatment. The findings also provide a unique opportunity for cancer researchers to unravel the basic molecular causes of the different image signatures."


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Contact: Jim Newman
newmanj@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
23-Feb-2005


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