NEW IMAGING TECHNIQUE DEVELOPED TO IDENTIFY BREAST CANCER
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have for the first time used a chemical marker
detected by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) to
successfully diagnose breast cancer. The diagnostic technique produces
pictures of choline within breast tumors.
In the study, researchers from the Russell H. Morgan Department of
Radiology and Radiological Science at Hopkins demonstrated that choline
signals analyzed by MRI were significantly elevated in malignant tumors in
15 of 18 patients studied. Three of the cases could not be included because
of technical failures such as patient movement or computer failure during
the scanning procedure.
The results are published in the December-January issue of the Journal of
Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Scientists have long known that cancers contain elevated levels of choline,
a product of membrane synthesis, but the Hopkins study is believed to be
the first to demonstrate its value in accurately identifying breast tumors.