Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Microbubbles can image blood vessel growth in tumors

16.07.2003


Imagine being able to quickly detect and diagnose blood vessel growth in cancerous tumors, and even predict how fast the tumors might metastasize or spread. Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System are doing just that in animal models using millions of tiny microbubbles injected into the bloodstream, coupled with contrast-enhanced ultrasound, an inexpensive and widely-used technique using sound waves to "see" inside the body.

Their findings are published in the July 22 edition of the journal Circulation.

"For the first time, this research shows that scientists can detect cancer using ultrasound contrast agents targeted to abnormal blood vessels that reside within tumors," said Dr. Jonathan Lindner, a U.Va. cardiologist and primary author of the study. "By assessing how much new blood vessel growth there is, we can detect tumors and metastatic spread at a very early stage."



Lindner said the one of the first signs of tumor and metastasis is a remodeling of surrounding blood vessels in the normal tissue near a tumor. The tumor activates the process of growth of new blood vessels called angiogenesis, supplying nutrients and oxygen to the tumor and keeping it alive.

To detect angiogenesis in and around a tumor, Dr. Lindner’s research group developed microbubbles targeted to the endothelial (inner) lining of new blood vessels. Microbubbles are normally about half the size of a red blood cell and are composed of a gas surrounded by a shell. They are currently being used worldwide to image blood flow and heart function in patients.

In their experiments, Lindner’s team at U.Va. attached molecules of echistatin, derived from viper venom, to the surface of each microbubble and injected the bubbles intravenously into mice with brain tumors. The echistatin molecule caused the bubbles to bind to a molecular component (an integrin) called alpha-v beta-3, which is expressed in the lining, or endothelium, of new blood vessels. After just ten minutes, the targeted microbubbles, and new blood vessels, appeared in bright colors on an ultrasound image.

"We may soon be able to assess cancer prognosis on patients using a technique like this. The more angiogenesis, the more aggressive a tumor is likely to be," Lindner said. "This microbubble technique may be able to tell people and their physicians exactly what’s likely to happen with a tumor in the future. If we know it has a certain amount of angiogenesis, then we know a tumor might be susceptible to treatment with new anti-tumor or anti-neoplastic agents developed to shrink tumors."

The U.Va. researchers were also able to use microbubbles to image capillary blood flow in tumors. They found that blood flow has a high velocity on the periphery of the tumors, but a much slower velocity inside a tumor. Blood flow velocity is a potentially important marker for tumor detection, Lindner said.

Linder and his U.Va. team first used microbubbles to detect angiogenesis in animal models, but not tumors. Their earlier findings were published in the January 28, 2003 edition of Circulation.

Bob Beard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://circ.ahajournals.org
http://hsc.virginia.edu/news

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nitric oxide-scavenging hydrogel developed for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
06.06.2019 | Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

nachricht Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

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 hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel communications architecture for future ultra-high speed wireless networks

17.06.2019 | Information Technology

Climate Change in West Africa

17.06.2019 | Earth Sciences

Robotic fish to replace animal testing

17.06.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>