Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Jefferson Lab Medical Imager Spots Breast Cancer

07.03.2005


This PEM image shows two cancerous lesions. The one on the right was depicted by conventional mammography, but the one on the left was only identified by the PEM unit. Image courtesy: Eric Rosen, Duke University Medical Center


A study published in the February issue of the journal Radiology shows that a positron emission mammography (PEM) device designed and built by Jefferson Lab scientists is capable of imaging breast cancer tumors. In the pilot study, conducted by Duke University Medical Center researchers, the unit imaged 18 malignant tumors in 23 patients receiving additional screening due to suspicious mammograms.

For many women, regular mammograms allow physicians to spot breast cancer tumors as dense lumps in the breast. But mammography often fails in women who have dense breast tissue due, for instance, to genetics or scarring. According to Eric Rosen, M.D., a Duke University Medical Center physician and lead author on the study, "In women with dense breasts, it’s very hard to pick out even large anatomic abnormalities."

Stan Majewski, Jefferson Lab Detector Group Leader and principal investigator on the instrumentation part of the project, led the team that designed and built the PEM unit. He says PEM imaging works differently than mammography. It reveals breast tissue that is showing higher metabolism than other areas. "The imager we built is a functional imager. That is, it indicates something about physiology, which can be different from anatomy," he says.



To fuel rapid growth, cancer cells use more glucose (sugar) than surrounding cells. In this imaging procedure, a small dose of radioactive molecules that look like sugar, called fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), are injected into the body, where they’re absorbed by cancerous tumors. The PEM device pinpoints tumors in the breast by detecting the location of FDG uptake. "By detecting areas that have increased glucose metabolism, you can often distinguish a cancer between normal surrounding tissue, which in general has low uptake of FDG," Dr. Rosen says.

For the study, Duke physicians recruited patients with suspicious mammograms who were scheduled for biopsies. "We recruited 23 patients that had 23 lesions that were highly suggestive of malignancy. PEM showed 20 lesions, 20 abnormalities, of which 18 were cancer and 2 were not cancer," Dr. Rosen says. The PEM unit missed three tumors, all of which were located very close to the chest wall, an area that PEM doesn’t image well. And of the 20 lesions spotted by the PEM system, one was not picked up by mammography. A subsequent biopsy revealed that this additional lesion was cancerous.

"We wanted to make a difference with this imager. Our expertise in building detectors for Jefferson Lab’s nuclear physics program allowed us to build a device that’s sensitive to the presence of the radioactive molecule, FDG," Majewski says, "And now we’re seeing the results of that. They detected an additional lesion that was not on mammography. That can directly impact patient care."

Dr. Rosen says the study was indeed a success, "What we concluded is that our PEM unit is capable of detecting cancer, it’s capable of demonstrating small breast malignancies, and that it can be performed in the breast clinic with a small dose of FDG and a very short, 5-minute acquisition time."

The Jefferson Lab/Duke team is now modifying the PEM system and imaging procedure to allow for better detection of lesions located near the chest wall. Dr. Rosen says the next step is to figure out what size and types of cancer tumors the unit is best capable of detecting, exactly how sensitive the unit is, and where it fits in the cancer screening process. "So now what we want to do is study a larger population and study a more representative population of patients," he says. The National Cancer Institute has funded a larger study that will include 200 patients to begin answering those questions.

More information:

Detection of Primary Breast Carcinoma with a Dedicated, Large-Field-of-View FDG PET Mammography Device: Initial Experience
Jefferson Lab’s Detector Group
PEM development picks up pace
Jefferson Lab Detector Technology Aids Development of Cystic Fibrosis Therapy
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility’s (Jefferson Lab’s) basic mission is to provide forefront scientific facilities, opportunities and leadership essential for discovering the fundamental structure of nuclear matter; to partner in industry to apply its advanced technology; and to serve the nation and its communities through education and public outreach. Jefferson Lab, located at 12000 Jefferson Avenue, is a Department of Energy Office of Science research facility managed by the Southeastern Universities Research Association.

Linda Ware | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jlab.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Individualized fiber components for the world market

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How brains surrender to sleep

23.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>