Researchers identify a new approach to detect the early progression of brain tumors

Aug 28, 2008

Researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center recently participated in a pilot study with the Montreal Neurological Institute that suggests a certain type of MRI scanning can detect when a patient is failing brain tumor treatment before symptoms appear. The results of the study pave the way for a proactive treatment approach.

The study followed patients with recurring malignant brain tumors who were receiving chemotherapy. Patients received scans through an imaging device called MR spectroscopy to identify metabolic changes. The scanning technique suggested that the use of metabolic imaging identifies chemical changes earlier than structural imaging such as a conventional MRI and CT scans.

This approach allowed researchers to determine if the tumors were responding to treatment early by assessing metabolic changes in a brain tumor, which are easy to detect and appear before structural changes or symptoms. The result may give patients more time to try another treatment.

"The study has shown for the first time that metabolic response to brain tumor treatment can be detected earlier and faster by metabolic imaging instead of through structural imaging or assessment of the neurological status of a patient," says Mark C. Preul, M.D., Newsome Chair of Neurosurgery Research at St. Joseph's.

The imaging can be done often, poses no radiation hazard and is non-invasive.

"Frequent use of this type of imaging may be a useful tool to follow a patient's response to chemotherapy for malignant brain tumors," says Dr. Preul. "It gives us the ability to identify treatment failure early and more time to alter a patient's treatment plan before the disease progresses."

As a result of the pilot study, Barrow researchers are planning to conduct a second study that will use imaging in the same way to monitor the effects of brain tumor treatment. They are also developing imaging modalities that will show how brain tumors change their shape and metabolism with treatment.

Source: St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center

Explore further: NICE to recommend 'single dose' radiotherapy during breast surgery

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Advancing medicine, layer by layer

Jul 02, 2014

Personalized cancer treatments and better bone implants could grow from techniques demonstrated by graduate students Stephen W. Morton and Nisarg J. Shah, who are both working in chemical engineering professor ...

World's first successful visualisation of key coenzyme

Apr 16, 2014

Japanese researchers have successfully developed the world's first imaging method for visualising the behaviour of nicotine-adenine dinucleotide derivative (NAD(P)H), a key coenzyme, inside cells. This feat ...

Cholesterol transporter structure decoded

Mar 21, 2014

The word "cholesterol" is directly linked in most people's minds with high-fat foods, worrying blood test results, and cardiovascular diseases. However, despite its bad reputation, cholesterol is essential ...

Recommended for you

Early hormone therapy may be safe for women's hearts

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Healthy women at low risk of cardiovascular disease may be able to take hormone replacement therapy soon after menopause for a short time without harming their hearts, according to a new study.

Low yield for repeat colonoscopy in some patients

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Repeat colonoscopies within 10 years are of little benefit to patients who had no polyps found on adequate examination; however, repeat colonoscopies do benefit patients when the baseline examination was compromised, ...

Cell's recycling center implicated in division decisions

6 hours ago

Most cells do not divide unless there is enough oxygen present to support their offspring, but certain cancer cells and other cell types circumvent this rule. Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have now identified ...

User comments : 0