Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New imaging method shows early in treatment if brain cancer therapy is effective

01.11.2005


Diffusion MRI is good early predictor of whether cancer will progress



A special type of MRI scan that measures the movement of water molecules through the brain can help doctors determine halfway through treatment whether it will successfully shrink the tumor or a patient’s cancer will continue to grow, a new study shows. The test identifies after only three weeks of treatment – more than two months earlier than traditional tests -- who is responding to the chemotherapy or radiation.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center developed the assessment, which they call a functional diffusion map. They used a magnetic resonance imaging scan that tracks the diffusion, or movement, of water through the brain and mapped the changes in diffusion from the start of therapy to three weeks later. The tumor cells restrict the movement of water, so as those cells die, water diffusion changes.


In the study of 34 people with a type of brain tumor called high grade glioma, the researchers found that they could predict after three weeks, based on the functional diffusion map, which cancers would respond to the treatment and which cancers would continue to grow. These predictions corresponded to a significant difference in how long the patients lived.

Results of the study appear the week of Oct. 31 in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

High grade gliomas have a high mortality rate, with people surviving only an average of 12 months after diagnosis. Typically, patients receive six to seven weeks of treatment, followed by a traditional MRI scan six weeks after completing therapy to determine if the tumor shrank. If the cancer did not respond to the treatment, a new approach may be tried.

"An early measure of tumor response such as this functional diffusion map could help doctors identify during the course of treatment who might benefit from a second-line therapy, sparing patients from a grueling treatment regimen that’s not working," says senior study author Brian Ross, Ph.D., professor of radiology and biological chemistry at the U-M Medical School and co-director of the Molecular Imaging Program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Just as importantly, this finding opens up the opportunity to study not only if treatment is unsuccessful, but where in the tumor it is not succeeding. If this is the case, we can use our sophisticated radiation planning techniques to target higher radiation doses to the regions that are not responding," says study author Theodore Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D., Isadore Lampe Professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology at the U-M Medical School.

In the study, 34 participants with late-stage diffuse high grade glioma, a type of brain tumor, underwent diffusion MRI before beginning a new treatment involving chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination. Three weeks later, they had another diffusion MRI. Eight to ten weeks after that, the participants underwent standard MRI to determine whether their tumor responded to the therapy.

At three weeks into treatment – more than two months before the final MRI scan – researchers could identify which patients would have a response to therapy over those with progressive disease. This corresponded to patients’ survival, with those classified as having progressive disease living an average 8.2 months while those with a response to treatment lived an average 18.2 months.

In addition, the time until the cancer began to progress was later in the group classified at three weeks by the functional diffusion map as having a partial response or stable disease, 7.3 months compared to 4.3 months for those identified as having progressive disease.

The researchers also looked at standard predictive factors of whether a patient is likely to do well on a therapy – factors such as age, tumor location and tumor size – but found the functional diffusion map was the only accurate predictor of overall survival.

"When the median survival for this type of cancer is less than 52 weeks, waiting an extra 10 weeks to know if treatment is working is a significant amount of time. We hope that functional diffusion mapping will eventually allow oncologists to manage each patient’s treatment based on real time evaluation of cellular response to therapy," says study author Suresh Mukherji, M.D., professor of radiology and otolaryngology and division director of neuroradiology at the U-M Medical School.

The researchers believe the test may be useful for other types of cancer, including breast, head and neck, rectal, prostate and liver. The functional diffusion map is not yet available for routine use in clinic.

Additional U-M study authors are Daniel Hamstra, M.D., a resident in radiation oncology; Thomas Chenevert, Ph.D., professor of radiology; Bradford Moffat, Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology; Timothy Johnson, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor and assistant research scientist in biostatistics; Charles Meyer, Ph.D., professor of radiology; Douglas Quint, M.D., professor of radiology; Stephen Gebarski, M.D., professor of radiology; Xiaoying Fan, a research technician in radiology; Christina Tsien, M.D., assistant professor in radiation oncology; Larry Junck, M.D., professor of neurology; and Alnawaz Rehemtulla, Ph.D., associate professor of radiation oncology and radiology.

Funding for the study was from the National Cancer Institute and the Charles A. Dana Foundation.

The University of Michigan holds a patent on this MRI diffusion technology and has licensed the commercialization rights to Molecular Therapeutics of Ann Arbor, in which Ross and Rehemtulla have a financial interest. A diffusion MRI can be performed on a standard MRI machine using a special workstation to compute the diffusion map. A workstation is being developed by Cedara Software Corp. of Ontario, Canada. Ross, Rehemtulla and Chenevert, as inventors of this technology, would stand to benefit financially from any commercial products.

Nicole Fawcett | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cancer.med.umich.edu/learn/brain.htm
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>