Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Better marker for breast cancer may reduce need for second surgeries

20.09.2010
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.

... more about:
»Cancer »UCSD »X-rays »breast cancer »lymph node

"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.

Susan Brown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

Further reports about: Cancer UCSD X-rays breast cancer lymph node

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

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

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>