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Artwork technique applied to prostate cancer

Friday August 25th, 2017

An imaging technique developed to research old artworks can be used to monitor the treatment of prostate cancer, British researchers have revealed.

Opto-acoustic imaging can successfully measure oxygen levels in tumours, according to the Cambridge University researchers.

Oxygen levels indicate the level of blood supply to the tumour - and thus its receptiveness to drugs and radiotherapy.

The technique measures ultrasonic waves generated by laser light in tissue.

It was developed to enable art historians to explore oil paintings, to identify hidden features such as original sketches.

The latest work has been reported in Theranostics.

Researcher Dr Sarah Bohndiek, of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, said: “Our new imaging technique gives us a clearer picture of the heart of prostate cancer than we have ever had before.

“The tortuous nature of blood vessels can leave tumours starved of oxygen – making the cancer resistant to radiotherapy and chemotherapy and very difficult to treat. If we can translate this technology to the clinic, we could provide a non-invasive way to stratify men for treatment and monitor the effect of different therapies.”

Prof Karen Vousden, chief scientist at Cancer Research UK, said: “This new technique compliments existing MRI and PET scans by helping us learn more about blood vessels within the tumour, which we haven’t been able to look at before in this way."

Tomaszewski et al. Oxygen enhanced optoacoustic tomography (OE-OT) reveals vascular dynamics in murine models of prostate cancer. Theranostics 24 August 2017 [abstract]

Tags: Cancer | Men's Health | UK News

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