Small Animal Imaging Gives Cancer Clues
PET imaging shows a breast cancer-like growth in a mouse. (Craig Abbey/UC Davis photo)
Advances in biomedical imaging are allowing UC Davis researchers to use mice more effectively to study cancers comparable to human disease. The system can distinguish different stages of cancer and could lead to more sensitive screening tests for cancer-fighting drugs.
Positron emission tomography (PET) is widely used for detecting and following cancer in human patients. It works by following short-lived radioactive tracers that are taken up by fast-growing cancer cells.
PET scanners used for humans don’t have the resolution to image an animal as small as a mouse. Researchers led by Simon Cherry, a professor of biomedical engineering at UC Davis, have developed a PET scanner sensitive enough to use with mice, and Craig Abbey, also in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has developed image analysis methods to use the scanner to monitor tumors.
They’re working with cancer researchers Alexander Borowsky, Robert Cardiff and Jeffrey Gregg at the UC Davis Center for Comparative Medicine to study cancerous growths in mice similar to ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a precursor to breast cancer in humans.
"With non-invasive imaging, we can follow the development of disease in one mouse over a long time period," Abbey said. The method is also more sensitive to changes in cancer growth, making it possible to look for small treatment effects.
Most invasive breast cancers are thought to develop from DCIS, and standard care is to remove the entire area involved, Borowsky said. Based on the appearance of a DCIS under the microscope, doctors can estimate how quickly it could become a more aggressive, invasive form if not completely removed, he said. The new PET technology allows researchers to follow the same changes in a mouse without surgery.
"Not only can we see the DCIS-like lesion, but we can detect the earliest transition to an invasive tumor," Borowsky said. The model could be used to test treatments that would slow or stop that transition in human patients, as well as to ask basic questions about how cancers develop.
The work was published July 26 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA online.
Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...