January 27, 2009 - Canadian researchers at the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization at McMaster University will start a clinical trial to evaluate the use of molecular imaging probes and imaging devices to detect small tumors earlier than a mammogram test.
The new instrument used in the trial is a prototype from GE Healthcare that picks up radioactive emissions. "This technology should allow us to see smaller and smaller tumors because we're imaging them in a very different way," said John Valliant, M.D., of the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization at McMaster University.
"The images are able to detect smaller objects much better than the current technology," said Dr. Karen Gulenchyn, chief of nuclear medicine for Hamilton Health Services.
The clinical trials, which researchers hope to start within the year, will be geared towards high-risk patients who are not well-served by mammography. Researchers hope to use about 200 patients in the trial.
The research project has received $450,000 from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.