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13C Hyperpolarized imaging used to study tumor metabolism

A team of UK-based researchers demonstrated that carbon-13 hyperpolarized imaging can be used to monitor breast cancer according to research funded by Cancer Research UK and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As part of the study, the team hyperpolarized (or magnetized) carbon-13 pyruvate by cooling it and exposing it to intense magnetic fields. The pyruvate was then injected into the patients before they underwent an MR scan. According to the study, the magnetized pyruvate molecules increased the signal by 10,000 times, making them visible in the scan. This enabled the team to measure how fast the patients’ tumors were metabolizing the pyruvate and to visualize the size, type and grade of tumors – which is a measure of how aggressive the cancer is. Kevin Brindle, lead researcher from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, who conducted the study, stated in a write-up about the study featured in Engineering and Technology magazine, "Combining this with advances in genetic testing, this scan could in the future allow doctors to better tailor treatments to each individual, and detect whether patients are responding to treatments, like chemotherapy, earlier than is currently possible."
To read more, visit https://tinyurl.com/wbpttwx