News | Oncology Diagnostics | August 24, 2018

Scientists Develop New MRI Tool for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy

European team develops magnetoferritin compound to improve the quality of MRI imaging for oncology diagnostics

Scientists Develop New MRI Tool for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy

Researchers in the laboratory ‘Biomedical Nanomaterials’ of NUST MISIS. Image courtesy of PR Newsfoto/NUST MISIS.

August 24, 2018 — A European research group has developed a system that allows doctors to both improve the accuracy of diagnosing malignant cells and to provide additional opportunities for cancer treatment. The magnetoferritin compound is the main element of the new system. The research article has been published in Advanced Functional Materials.

The research team consists of scientists from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) MISIS (Moscow), the Technical University of Munich, Helmholtz Zentrum München, the University of Duisburg-Essen, and the University of Oldenburg.

The lack of accuracy (contrast) in imaging is a common problem of non-invasive diagnosis. Contrast agents, compounds that are introduced into the body before a diagnostic procedure to enhance the response and make affected cells more visible on a tomograph, can be used to solve this problem in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Paramagnetic gadolinium particles and superparamagnetic iron particles are among these agents. However, even in small quantities, these substances — alien to the human body — can potentially be dangerous.

"The international research team, including Dr. Ulf Wiedwald, a visiting professor at the NUST MISIS Biomedical Nanomaterials Laboratory, has developed a unique injection diagnosis system based on magnetoferritin. The developed system will significantly improve the quality of MRIs and optical diagnosis," said Alevtina Chernikova, rector of NUST MISIS.

Magnetoferritin is a compound consisting of endogenous human protein (ferritin) and a magnetic nucleus. The development and testing of the compound was conducted following the existing protocol for the synthesis of magnetoferritin, but was improved for the effective capture of tumor cells. The high concentration of magnetoferritin in tumor tissue made it possible to obtain a hypoallergenic contrast agent that is perfectly compatible with the human body.

"An intravenous injection of magnetoferritin has been proposed. Then, spreading with the blood flow, [the magnetoferritin] will be captured by the targeted tumor cells. As has been shown in a large number of studies, these cells actively capture transferrin - the protein responsible for the transport of iron in the blood. The same receptors are capable of capturing the magnetoferritin as well. Once they get into the lysosomes of targeted cells, the magnetoferritin will further enhance the contrast signal," commented Wiedwald.

The system will also allow doctors to conduct therapy on tumor formations. If an MRI shows cancerous cells, they can be targeted by an electromagnetic field or light, which will lead to their heating and subsequent death.

For more information: www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com

Reference

Massner C., Sigmund F., Pettinger S., et al. Genetically Controlled Lysosomal Entrapment of Superparamagnetic Ferritin for Multimodal and Multiscale Imaging and Actuation with Low Tissue Attenuation. Advanced Functional Materials, March 13, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201706793

Related Content

LVivo EF Comparable to MRI, Contrast Echo in Assessing Ejection Fraction
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | June 19, 2019
DiA Imaging Analysis announced the presentation of two studies assessing the performance and accuracy of the company's...
Black Men Less Likely to Adopt Active Surveillance for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer
News | Prostate Cancer | June 17, 2019
A new study reveals black men are less likely than white men to adopt an active surveillance strategy for their...
International Working Group Releases New Multiple Myeloma Imaging Guidelines

X-ray images such as the one on the left fail to indicate many cases of advanced bone destruction caused by multiple myeloma, says the author of new guidelines on imaging for patients with myeloma and related disorders. Image courtesy of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

News | Computed Tomography (CT) | June 17, 2019
An International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) has developed the first set of new recommendations in 10 years for...
Sectra Providing Centralized Regional Solution for Digital Pathology in the U.K.
News | Digital Pathology | June 14, 2019
Sectra has signed a five-year contract with North Tees and Hartlepool National Health System (NHS) Foundation Trust for...
SyMRI Software Receives FDA Clearance for Use With Siemens MRI Systems
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | June 14, 2019
SyntheticMR announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for clinical use of its SyMRI Image and SyMRI...
A high-fidelity 3-D tractography of the left ventricle heart muscle fibers of a mouse

Figure 1. A high-fidelity 3-D tractography of the left ventricle heart muscle fibers of a mouse from Amsterdam Ph.D. researcher Gustav Strijkers.

News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | June 07, 2019
The Amsterdam University Medical Center has won MR Solutions’ Image of the Year 2019 award for the best molecular...
Study Identifies MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy as Growing Market Segment
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | June 06, 2019
Revenues from the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiation therapy systems market exceeded $220 million in...
Ann Arbor Startup Launches Augmented Reality MRI Simulator
Technology | Virtual and Augmented Reality | June 04, 2019
SpellBound, an Ann Arbor startup specializing in augmented reality (AR) tools for children in hospitals, has officially...

Photo courtesy of Philips Healthcare

Feature | Radiology Business | May 31, 2019 | By Arjen Radder
Change is a consistent theme in our world today, no matter where you look.
Vast Majority of Heavy Smokers Not Screened for Lung Cancer
News | Lung Cancer | May 29, 2019
Out of more than 7 million current and former heavy smokers, only 1.9 percent were screened for lung cancer in 2016...