A new method to diagnose cancer cells inside lymph nodes could allow doctors to treat cancers before they spread around the body
The vast majority of cancer deaths occur due to the spread of cancer from one organ to another, which can happen either through the blood or the lymphatic system. However, it can be tricky to detect this early enough.
Researchers have developed a new method to detect cancer earlier in the lymph nodes involving micro-CT. The micro-CT scans show how a contrast agent is blocked from more and more of the lymph node, indicating tumor development within the first month of infection.
Credit: Tohoku University
Researchers at Tohoku University have developed a new method that would allow doctors to detect cancers in the lymph nodes while they are still small, before they travel to other parts of the body. This can greatly increase the chances of a successful treatment.
There aren't many imaging techniques that can detect tumors in lymph nodes before they grow too large, especially in smaller nodes. Biopsies of lymph nodes is a possible option, but it can often give false negative results.
So the team wanted to come up with a new method that would accurately detect the earliest stages of a cancer moving to another part of the body, using a technique called x-ray microcomputed tomography (micro-CT).
The team tested their new method on mice with breast cancer cells inserted into their lymph nodes. They injected a contrast agent at a slow, steady pace into the lymph nodes upstream of those carrying the cancer cells. As the contrast agent made its way through the lymphatic system, the researchers were able to map out its movement using micro-CT.
Initially, the researchers did not observe any change in the flow of the contrast agent. However, after 28 days of injecting the cancer cells into the lymph nodes, they had divided and grown to a point where they blocked the flow of the contrast agent, creating empty pockets in the scan that did not have any contrast agent.
By comparing the shape of the lymph node and the areas that contained the contrast agent, the researchers were able to get a clear picture of the presence of cancer cells there.
Next, the researchers would like to hone in on better contrast agents that would offer a clearer, more precise picture of how cancer cells are moving around the lymphatic system. In the future, this technique could be an effective way to detect tumors early before they spread around the body, saving many lives and adding one more tool that doctors can turn to in their fight against cancer.
Tetsuya Kodama | EurekAlert!
Covid-19, a prominent role for UniTrento in ultrasound diagnosis
24.03.2020 | Università di Trento
Modern virtual and augmented reality device can help simulate sight loss
11.03.2020 | City University London
Together with their colleagues from the University of Würzburg, physicists from the group of Professor Alexander Szameit at the University of Rostock have devised a “funnel” for photons. Their discovery was recently published in the renowned journal Science and holds great promise for novel ultra-sensitive detectors as well as innovative applications in telecommunications and information processing.
The quantum-optical properties of light and its interaction with matter has fascinated the Rostock professor Alexander Szameit since College.
Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumour innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies.
Stem cells can generate a variety of specific tissues and are increasingly used for clinical applications such as the replacement of bone or cartilage....
An international research team led by Kiel University develops an extremely porous material made of "white graphene" for new laser light applications
With a porosity of 99.99 %, it consists practically only of air, making it one of the lightest materials in the world: Aerobornitride is the name of the...
Researchers at Graz University of Technology have developed a framework by which wireless devices with different radio technologies will be able to communicate directly with each other.
Whether networked vehicles that warn of traffic jams in real time, household appliances that can be operated remotely, "wearables" that monitor physical...
Terahertz waves are becoming ever more important in science and technology. They enable us to unravel the properties of future materials, test the quality of...
26.03.2020 | Event News
23.03.2020 | Event News
03.03.2020 | Event News
27.03.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.03.2020 | Life Sciences
27.03.2020 | Life Sciences