Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular imaging: diagnosing diseases before symptoms strike

30.10.2002


Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are developing methods to track molecular events in the body to diagnose disease long before symptoms appear and to predict the effectiveness of drug therapies. The research is under way at the School of Medicine’s new Molecular Imaging Center at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. The Center is funded by a five-year $9.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.



"Molecular imaging combines the latest in imaging technology with the power of molecular biology," says David Piwnica-Worms, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology and of molecular biology and pharmacology and director of the new center.

"We believe that molecular imaging will one day enable us to diagnose specific molecular events of cancer, neurologic disease or inflammation earlier in the course of disease, and that this will help doctors identify the most effective therapy for individual patients."


Piwnica-Worms described molecular imaging and research being done at the Center during the 40th annual New Horizons in Science Briefing, sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, held Oct. 27-30 at Washington University in St. Louis.

Investigators at the Center are using molecular imaging to study protein-protein interactions, immune cells attacking a tumor, and the course of a viral infection and its response to antiviral therapy. Other researchers are developing a means to noninvasively predict the effectiveness of particular chemotherapy drugs in patients with advanced lung cancer. The investigators are studying lung tumors for ways to image the activity of a protein that pumps certain anticancer drugs out of tumor cells, rendering the drugs ineffective for those individuals.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is one example of molecular imaging technology already in use clinically. PET scans are used, for instance, to detect the spread of certain cancers. Patients are given a form of sugar -- glucose -- that contains a weak radioactive label. The labeled sugar is taken up more rapidly by tumor cells than by normal cells because the tumor cells are growing at a faster rate. PET-scan imaging reveals this higher level of uptake, thereby providing a non-surgical means of detecting an otherwise hidden tumor.

Researchers at Washington University’s Molecular Imaging Center are developing new applications for existing technologies, such as PET, and exploring new methods of molecular imaging using near-infrared fluorescence and bioluminescence probes.

Questions

Contact: Darrell E. Ward, assc. director for research communications, Washington University School of Medicine, (314) 286-0122; wardd@msnotes.wustl.edu

Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://news-info.wustl.edu/News/casw/piwnica.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study shows novel protein plays role in bacterial vaginosis
13.12.2019 | University of Arizona Health Sciences

nachricht Illinois team develops first of a kind in-vitro 3D neural tissue model
12.12.2019 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

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: Virus multiplication in 3D

Vaccinia viruses serve as a vaccine against human smallpox and as the basis of new cancer therapies. Two studies now provide fascinating insights into their unusual propagation strategy at the atomic level.

For viruses to multiply, they usually need the support of the cells they infect. In many cases, only in their host’s nucleus can they find the machines,...

Im Focus: Cheers! Maxwell's electromagnetism extended to smaller scales

More than one hundred and fifty years have passed since the publication of James Clerk Maxwell's "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" (1865). What would our lives be without this publication?

It is difficult to imagine, as this treatise revolutionized our fundamental understanding of electric fields, magnetic fields, and light. The twenty original...

Im Focus: Highly charged ion paves the way towards new physics

In a joint experimental and theoretical work performed at the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, an international team of physicists detected for the first time an orbital crossing in the highly charged ion Pr⁹⁺. Optical spectra were recorded employing an electron beam ion trap and analysed with the aid of atomic structure calculations. A proposed nHz-wide transition has been identified and its energy was determined with high precision. Theory predicts a very high sensitivity to new physics and extremely low susceptibility to external perturbations for this “clock line” making it a unique candidate for proposed precision studies.

Laser spectroscopy of neutral atoms and singly charged ions has reached astonishing precision by merit of a chain of technological advances during the past...

Im Focus: Ultrafast stimulated emission microscopy of single nanocrystals in Science

The ability to investigate the dynamics of single particle at the nano-scale and femtosecond level remained an unfathomed dream for years. It was not until the dawn of the 21st century that nanotechnology and femtoscience gradually merged together and the first ultrafast microscopy of individual quantum dots (QDs) and molecules was accomplished.

Ultrafast microscopy studies entirely rely on detecting nanoparticles or single molecules with luminescence techniques, which require efficient emitters to...

Im Focus: How to induce magnetism in graphene

Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications. The results have just been published in the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Depending on the shape and orientation of their edges, graphene nanostructures (also known as nanographenes) can have very different properties – for example,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supporting structures of wind turbines contribute to wind farm blockage effect

13.12.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Chinese team makes nanoscopy breakthrough

13.12.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Tiny quantum sensors watch materials transform under pressure

13.12.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>