News | July 31, 2007

New Technology May Lead to Earlier Cancer Detection

August 1, 2007 - The results of a pilot study on a new optical technology, coupled with routine endoscopy, presented in the Aug. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, could represent a new approach to detecting pancreatic cancer at a very early stage.

Developed by Northwestern University biomedical engineers, the new optical technology, with routine endoscopy, exposes cellular changes indicative of cancer in tissue near the pancreas that had previously been detectable only through intensive radiologic scanning or invasive surgery.

“Pancreatic cancer is not often detected early because it is a rather inaccessible organ, so this technique holds the potential to be the first reliable, routine screening tool for pancreatic cancer,” said co-author author Randall Brand, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University and clinician at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare. “If we could apply this to those at high risk – such as people with chronic pancreatitis or who have a family history of pancreatic cancer– we might see a drastic improvement in pancreatic cancer survival.”

The optical technology used to detect the field effect of pancreatic cancer was developed by the senior author of the study Vadim Backman, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern along with his graduate student, Yang Liu, Ph.D, the first author on the report. With a single instrument, Backman can use two different means of detecting the optical properties of a tissue sample, both of which were developed in his laboratory: four-dimensional elastic light scattering fingerprinting (4D-ELF) and low-coherence enhanced backscattering spectroscopy (LEBS).

“We are able to use the optical properties of a cell’s structure to serve as a marker for disease,” said Backman. “These are changes within the tissue that cannot be detected through any other means. Neither antibodies nor diagnostic assays can detect them.”

According to Backman, optical markers are independent of other factors within the tissue microenvironment. “The markers do not change if the patient is a smoker. And the markers do not change with the location, stage or size of the tumor in the pancreas,” he said.

Researchers are currently involved in a larger study of the technique and its refinement. They estimate that the technology may be put into practice within three years.

The study was supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

For more information: www.aacr.org

Related Content

RayStation Selected for New Carbon Ion Therapy Center in Japan
News | Treatment Planning | January 18, 2018
January 18, 2018 – RayStation has been chosen as the treatment planning system for a new carbon-ion therapy facility
Raysearch Receives First Order for the Raycare Oncology Information System
News | Oncology Information Management Systems (OIMS) | January 18, 2018
January 18, 2018 – Anderson Regional Cancer Center (ARCC) in Meridian, Mississippi, has placed the first order for...
RaySearch Launches RayCare Oncology Information System

Image courtesy of RaySearch Laboratories

Technology | Oncology Information Management Systems (OIMS) | December 22, 2017
RaySearch announced the first release of RayCare, a new oncology information system (OIS) designed to connect the...
RaySearch Releases RayStation 7 Radiotherapy Treatment Planning System
Technology | Treatment Planning | December 19, 2017
RayStation 7, the latest release of RaySearch’s radiation therapy treatment planning system, adds new functionality and...
Toshiba Medical Launches Galan RT Solutions for MRI Radiation Therapy Planning
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | December 19, 2017
December 19, 2017 — Toshiba Medical, a Canon Group company, introduced the Galan RT Solutions suite of...
RayStation Selected for New Tennessee Proton Therapy Center
News | Treatment Planning | November 20, 2017
November 20, 2017 — Provision Healthcare has selected RayStation for external beam planning at the new Provision Care
Videos | Radiation Therapy | November 15, 2017
Chris Toth, president, global commercial and field operations for Varian, takes a tour of Varian’s new product introd
Synthetic CT Images Suitable for Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy Planning
News | Treatment Planning | November 14, 2017
Spectronic Medical announced that new data for their MRIPlanner software, generating synthetic computed tomography (sCT...
IBA Announces First Use of Gating With Active Scanning Proton Therapy in Italy
News | Proton Therapy | October 17, 2017
October 17, 2017 — The Trento Azienda Provinciale per i Servizi Sanitari (APSS) and IBA announced the successful comp
Siemens Healthineers Debuts Magnetom Vida RT Pro Edition MRI at ASTRO 2017
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | October 02, 2017
Siemens Healthineers debuted the Magnetom RT Pro edition of Magnetom Vida, a version of the company’s 3T magnetic...
Overlay Init