Non-invasive imaging instead of repeated biopsy in active monitoring of prostate cancer

April 6, 2014, University of Colorado Denver

Your body's cells have two major interconnected energy sources: the lipid metabolism and the glucose metabolism. Most cancers feed themselves by metabolizing glucose, and thus can be seen in Positron Emission Topography (PET) scans that detect radiolabeled glucose. However, prostate cancers tend to use the lipid metabolism route and so cannot be imaged in this way effectively.

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study being presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2014 describes a novel method to "manipulate the in the cancer cell to trick them to use more radiolabeled glucose, the basis of PET scanning," says Isabel Schlaepfer, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center Department of Pharmacology, and recipient of a 2014 Minority Scholar Award in Cancer Research from AACR.

The current study used the clinically safe drug etomoxir to block ' ability to oxidize lipids. With the lipid energy source removed, cells switched to and both cells and mouse models roughly doubled their uptake of radiolabeled glucose.

"Because prostate cancer can be a slow-growing disease, instead of immediate treatment, many men choose active surveillance – they watch and wait. But that requires repeated prostate biopsies. Instead, now we could use this metabolic technique to allow PET imaging to monitor without the need for so many biopsies," says Schlaepfer.

Schlaepfer also points out possible therapeutic application of the technique: while immediately useful for imaging, it may be that cutting off a prostate cancer cell's ability to supply itself with energy from lipids could make it difficult for these cells to survive.

Explore further: Cell metabolism discovery could lead to treatments for cancer, common cold

Related Stories

Cell metabolism discovery could lead to treatments for cancer, common cold

April 2, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have published the first study explaining in detail how viruses reprogram the metabolism of the cells they invade to promote continued viral growth ...

Cholesterol study suggests new diagnostic, treatment approach for prostate cancer

March 4, 2014
Researchers have discovered a link between prostate cancer aggressiveness and the accumulation of a compound produced when cholesterol is metabolized in cells, findings that could bring new diagnostic and treatment methods. ...

High fiber diet prevents prostate cancer progression

January 9, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—A high-fiber diet may have the clinical potential to control the progression of prostate cancer in patients diagnosed in early stages of the disease.

New imaging approach fast tracks drug testing for incurable prostate cancer

March 17, 2014
Cancer Research UK-funded scientists have developed a new way to test the effectiveness of a drug for prostate cancer that has spread to the bone, which is currently incurable, according to research published in the Journal ...

Targeting metabolism to develop new prostate cancer treatments

February 28, 2014
A University of Houston (UH) scientist and his team are working to develop the next generation of prostate cancer therapies, which are targeted at metabolism.

New kind of scan finds cancer's sleeper cells

March 4, 2014
Researchers have developed a new imaging technique that lights up cancer's sleeper cells, warning patients and doctors of a potential relapse according to a study published in Cancer Research today.

Recommended for you

Dulling cancer therapy's double-edged sword

January 17, 2018
Researchers have discovered that killing cancer cells can actually have the unintended effect of fueling the proliferation of residual, living cancer cells, ultimately leading to aggressive tumor progression.

Researchers develop swallowable test to detect pre-cancerous Barrett's esophagus

January 17, 2018
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have developed a simple, swallowable test for early detection of Barrett's esophagus that offers promise ...

Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read

January 17, 2018
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted—revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.

T-cells engineered to outsmart tumors induce clinical responses in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma

January 16, 2018
WASHINGTON-(Jan. 16, 2018)-Tumors have come up with ingenious strategies that enable them to evade detection and destruction by the immune system. So, a research team that includes Children's National Health System clinician-researchers ...

Researchers identify new treatment target for melanoma

January 16, 2018
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous ...

More evidence of link between severe gum disease and cancer risk

January 16, 2018
Data collected during a long-term health study provides additional evidence for a link between increased risk of cancer in individuals with advanced gum disease, according to a new collaborative study led by epidemiologists ...

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.