Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New diagnostic imaging techniques deemed safe in simulations

05.06.2014

Gamma and neutron imaging offer possible improvements over existing techniques such as X-ray or CT, but their safety is not yet fully understood.

Using computer simulations, imaging the liver and breast with gamma or neutron radiation was found to be safe, delivering levels of radiation on par with conventional medical imaging, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.


This shows simulated 3D dose measurements of the breast showing the dose imparted to the whole body. The dose is shown on a red and yellow color map, where yellow shows maximum dose.

Credit: Duke Medicine


This shows simulated 3D dose measurements of the abdomen/liver showing the dose imparted to the whole body. The dose is shown on a red and yellow color map, where yellow shows maximum dose.

Credit: Duke Medicine

The findings, published in the June issue of the journal Medical Physics, will help researchers to move testing of gamma and neutron imaging into animals and later humans.

Conventional medical imaging tools – including X-ray, ultrasound, CT and MRI – detect disease by finding the anatomy, or shape and size, of the abnormality. When using these tools to screen for cancer, a tumor must be large enough to be detected, and if found, a surgical biopsy is generally required to determine if it is benign or malignant.

... more about:
»CT »X-ray »benign »biopsy »breast »liver »scans »techniques

Duke researchers are working to develop imaging technologies to detect disease in its earliest stages, much before the tumors grow large enough to be detected using conventional methods. Two imaging techniques they are researching are Neutron Stimulated Emission Computed Tomography and Gamma Stimulated Emission Computed Tomography.

Research has shown that many tumors have an out-of-balance concentration of trace-level elements naturally found in the body, such as aluminum and rubidium. These elements stray from their normal concentration levels at the earliest stages of tumor growth, potentially providing an early signal of disease.

The neutron and gamma imaging methods measure the concentrations of elements in the body, determining molecular properties without the need for a biopsy or injection of contrast media. The goal is for these tests to be able to distinguish between benign and malignant lesions, as well as healthy tissue.

"Gamma and neutron imaging may eventually be able to help us to detect cancer earlier without having to perform an invasive biopsy," said Anuj Kapadia, Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology at Duke University School of Medicine and the study's senior author.

Gamma and neutron imaging may also have applications for patients undergoing cancer treatment. Patients currently wait weeks or months to see if their cancer is responding to a particular treatment and shrinking in size, but gamma and neutron imaging may be able to tell if a treatment is working earlier by detecting molecular changes directly within the tumor.

While improved diagnostic tests would provide clinicians with useful tools, one ongoing question is the safety of gamma and particularly neutron radiation. Upon entering the body, neutrons scatter considerably, with the possibility of reaching several vital organs. Thus, researchers have been concerned about how much radiation is absorbed in the targeted organ versus surrounding tissue. For instance, in a breast scan, how much radiation is delivered unnecessarily to the heart or lungs?

Using detailed computer simulations, Kapadia and his colleagues estimated the radiation dose delivered to the liver and breast using neutron and gamma imaging. They found that the majority of radiation was delivered to organs directly within the radiation beam, and a much lower dose was absorbed by tissue outside of the radiation beam.

In simulated breast scans, the radiation was almost entirely limited to the area of the breast being scanned. The dose to the breast accounted for 96 percent of the radiation in neutron scans and 99 percent in gamma scans. The heart and lungs received less than 1 percent of the radiation dose.

When imaging the liver in simulation, the neutron scan imparted the highest radiation dose to the liver, while in the gamma scan, the stomach wall absorbed the greatest amount of radiation given its location in the direct path of the beam. Further work is needed to reduce and better target gamma radiation doses in liver scans.

"The results show that despite the use of a highly scattering particle such as a neutron, the dose from neutron imaging is on par with other clinical imaging techniques such as X-ray CT," Kapadia said. "Neutron and gamma radiation may become viable imaging alternatives if further testing proves them to be safe and effective."

The researchers will use this information to move their studies into animals, and later, humans.

###

In addition to Kapadia, authors include Matthew D. Belley and William Paul Segars of Duke. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01-EB001838, T32-EB007185).

Rachel Harrison | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

Further reports about: CT X-ray benign biopsy breast liver scans techniques

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht A non-invasive tool for diagnosing cancer*
21.05.2015 | The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

nachricht PolyU develops novel computer intelligence system for acute stroke detection
20.05.2015 | The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

Im Focus: First electrical car ferry in the world in operation in Norway now

  • Siemens delivers electric propulsion system and charging stations with lithium-ion batteries charged from hydro power
  • Ferry only uses 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route and reduces cost of fuel by 60 percent
  • Milestone on the road to operating emission-free ferries

The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...

Im Focus: Into the ice – RV Polarstern opens the arctic season by setting course for Spitsbergen

On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.

RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...

Im Focus: Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.

To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International symposium: trends in spatial analysis and modelling for a more sustainable land use

20.05.2015 | Event News

15th conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists

18.05.2015 | Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing health in Europe. Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities

12.05.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Climate engineering may save coral reefs, study shows

26.05.2015 | Earth Sciences

Biodiversity: 11 new species come to light in Madagascar

26.05.2015 | Life Sciences

Location matters in the lowland Amazon

26.05.2015 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>