Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Imaging Technique Shows Lymph Nodes, Metastases in Breast Cancer

25.08.2004


Breast cancer tends to progress to nearby lymph nodes, but surgeons can find it difficult to determine what tissue to remove with the breast tumor and what to leave intact. National Cancer Institute researchers hope to change that.



“Our advance is that we have a non-invasive method that may minimize surgical trauma,” says the team’s leader, Martin Brechbiel, Ph.D. “At the least, surgeons can acquire a set of images and have a feel, a road map if you will, for what they need to do before the [surgical] procedure begins. Ultimately the technology could have the potential to replace surgery, though that’s not proven yet.”

Brechbiel reported the technique, which uses magnetic resonance imaging and a novel MRI agent, for the first time at the 228th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society. The pharmaceutical chemist is looking to step up from mouse studies to Phase I clinical trials.


One in seven women will develop breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society’s 2004 report of cancer statistics. Closely tied to deciding the best approach for the tumor’s removal — a lumpectomy is now the most common — is determining whether and how much of neighboring tissue may also contain cancer cells.

That’s a question surgeons can now rarely answer until the patient is on the operating table and they can probe her lymph tissue directly. And although their decision strongly impacts her chances for cancer recovery and survival, even direct inspection can render it less than clear.

Which node is the sentinel, closest in flow from the breast? Which in line after that should be the last to take? “Also, lymphatic vessels are not always easy just to find. They’re not like bone or a major organ,” Brechbiel points out.

The NCI research has the potential not only to reduce doubt but also to remove much of the decision itself from the operating room. Brechbiel proposes, and has the preliminary data to support, an approach that would send the woman first to the MRI center, where a technician would inject the new imaging agent. Its chemical properties would then light up, in real time, the flow of lymph from breast through lymph vessels to nodes under the arm.

“You can actually watch the filling of nodes from the tumor,” Brechbiel says, referring to observations he and his team have made in transgenic mice. “Some will light up very early, others later. And then you can also reconstruct the data into a three-dimensional image, and rotate it for a three-dimensional road map. The surgeon can know how a patient’s lymph tissue is constructed even before surgical intervention begins.”

Brechbiel’s technique could save time on the operating table, inflict less trauma and possibly even diagnose cancerous nodes as well as delineate the local lymph network. “Cancerous cells can block normal filling of the node, and when that happens you can spot the aberration in flow,” he says.

The imaging agent itself is also new. Other MRI compounds are small molecules, but the NCI group instead has developed a series of dendrimer complexes to carry the magnetic signal. Some of these elaborate scaffolds of polymer each hold a remarkable 256 ions of gadolinium, a rare-earth metal and common magnetic signal in MRI. Dendrimers give a stronger signal even when adjusted for their high molecular weight, and a crisper image because their bulkiness keeps them from leaking through vessel walls.

Having taken the work this far, NCI is now looking for an industrial partner to carry it to clinical trials. Meanwhile, a paper on the research has been accepted for publication later this year by the peer-reviewed Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

The paper on this research, INOR 347, will be presented at 2:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 23, 2004, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 108B, during the symposium, “The Chemistry of Biological Molecular Imaging.”

Martin Brechbiel, Ph.D., is section chief of the Radioimmune and Inorganic Chemistry Section, Radiation Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.acs.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>