Striking Results Achieved in Lymph System Imaging Using MRI and Nano-Scale Contrast Agent
Determining whether breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes may become easier to do as well as easier on the patient, based on the results of important new research presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting.
Dr. Hisataka Kobayashi, a staff scientist in the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Molecular Imaging Program, reported on the development of a new nano-scale contrast agent for use in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that provides clear visualization of drainage from a breast tumor to nearby lymph nodes. Use of this new agent, dubbed G6, in two mouse models of breast cancer also allowed Dr. Kobayashi and colleagues from NCI and Johns Hopkins University to clearly visualize whether there were metastases in sentinel lymph nodes - that is, the first lymph nodes to which metastases are most likely to infiltrate - and axillary nodes. The study was conducted at the Metabolism Branch of the NCI Center for Cancer Research.Read more
Enabling Technologies Will Help Pave Way to 2015
Since the NCI announced its challenge goal to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer by 2015, I have been asked on numerous occasions, "How are we going to do it?" The answer is as simple as it is complex. The simple answer is that we will harness the tremendous intellectual resources within the cancer community that have been producing the remarkable advances we have made in our understanding of the cancer process, and we will accelerate further progress by integrating a plethora of new enabling technologies.
The complexity of the answer comes in how we orchestrate this process: ensuring that we set up systems and processes which allow us to take full advantage of the tools and resources available to us and that we work together as a community, not in silos that foster redundancy and inefficiency and, as a result, hamper progress. I believe the research community is ready for such coordination, as evidenced by the emergence of team science and the enthusiasm of our cancer center directors for the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid, or caBIG.Read more