New imaging agent has an appetite for dangerous prostate tumors

Non-invasive imaging detects prostate cancer earlier than ever before, but can't accurately distinguish between malignant and benign disease. According to Lawson Health Research Institute's Drs. John Lewis and Len Luyt, a new molecular imaging probe could be the answer.

Ghrelin is a growth hormone produced by the stomach and pancreas to stimulate hunger. Malignant are known to consume it at much higher rates than normal . The Lawson team believed this could be the key to singling out .

The Lawson team developed a ghrelin-based imaging agent, modifying the structure by decorating it with a fluorescent compound. Next, they tested it on samples from patients with prostate cancer. Results showed the signal was almost 5 times stronger in the malignant cancer cells than in normal prostate cells or benign cancer cells.

"Imaging tests such as PET or MRI are used to diagnose a number of cancers without biopsy, but biopsy is still the best option for prostate cancer," Dr. Lewis says. "This work suggests that imaging using may allow us to perform a non-invasive biopsy to diagnose prostate cancer and potentially detect metastasis earlier."


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Molecular imaging 'probes' pinpoint prostate cancer

Provided by Lawson Health Research Institute
Citation: New imaging agent has an appetite for dangerous prostate tumors (2011, December 8) retrieved 19 November 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-12-imaging-agent-appetite-dangerous-prostate.html
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