Researchers identify possible imaging method to stratify breast cancer without biopsy

December 17, 2009, Thomas Jefferson University

Scientists from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have discovered a possible way for malignant breast tumors to be identified, without the need for a biopsy. The findings were published online ahead of print in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Current imaging modalities miss up to 30% of breast cancers and cannot distinguish malignant tumors from benign tumors, thus requiring invasive biopsies. Approximately 5.6 million biopsies performed in the United States find only benign lesions. These biopsies cause substantial stress for the patients and have significantly high costs.

"The challenge has been to develop an imaging agent that will target a specific, fingerprint biomarker that visualizes malignant breast lesions early and reliably," said Mathew Thakur, Ph.D., professor of Radiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and director of Radiopharmaceutical Research and Nuclear Medicine Research.

Dr. Thakur and colleagues studied an agent called 64Cu-TP3805, which is used to evaluate tumors via . 64Cu-TP3805 detects by finding a called VPAC1, which is overexpressed as the tumor develops.

The researchers compared the images using that agent with images using the "gold standard" imaging agent, 18F-FDG. They used MMTVneu mice, which are mice that develop breast tumors spontaneously, like humans. The mice first received a using the 18F-FDG. Then they received a CT scan, and then they received another PET scan using 64Cu-TP3805.

Ten tumors were detected on the mice. Four tumors were detected using both 18F-FDG and 64Cu-TP3805, and four additional tumors were found with 64Cu-TP3805 only. All eight of these tumors overexpressed the VPAC1 oncogene on tumor cells and were malignant by histology. The remaining two tumors were benign and were detected only with 18F-FDG. They did not express the VPAC1 oncogene, and thus were not detected by the 64Cu-TP3805.

"If this ability of 64Cu-TP3805 holds up in humans, then in the future, PET scans with 64Cu-TP3805 will significantly contribute to the management of breast cancer," Dr. Thakur said.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Single blood test screens for eight cancer types

January 18, 2018
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.