PHILADELPHIA, June 9, 2005 -- At the "Era of Hope" Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program meeting, researchers funded through this program will present innovative studies that offer a glimpse into the array of research currently being done on the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Studies presented at the meeting explore topics such as the development of a hand-held device to allow for at-home screening for breast cancer; the role of exercise in restoring the immune system after chemotherapy; and correlating genetic changes in normal-looking tissues near breast tumors with risk of recurrence.
Prototype Imager Holds Promise for At-home Breast Screening
A hand-held device in development may one day allow women to screen themselves for breast cancer in the privacy of their homes. The device, tentatively named "iFind," monitors the differences in blood oxygen ratios in growing cancers and normal tissues, reported researchers from the University of Pennsylvania. If it picks up potential early signs of breast cancer, it alerts the user with either a light or a vibration.
"It's important to know that this would be part of a breast exam, not a full diagnostic device," explained Britton Chance, Ph.D., emeritus professor of physics and radiology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in Philadelphia, and developer of the device. "It would provide an indication of early signs of breast cancer that need to be followed up by a doctor."
The device measures oxygenation rather than blood volume to detect hypermetabolism -- the speedier growth rate of cancer cells. The prototype breast cancer detector performed with a positive predictive value of about 93%, which the researchers describe as a remarkably successful test for detecting breast cancer. Reliance on near-infrared light makes it a safe technology as well; women can use it as frequently as they wish. The study was conductePage: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Related medicine news :1
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