Exciting news from the world of imaging! MRI just might be able to discern cancer cells from non-cancer cells. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have been studying cancer cells in-vitro (in a petri dish) and in mice to see if their detection method works.
They have taken advantage of particular biology, in four different types of cancer cells and in normal cells that convert to cancer cells. Normally, cells have a sort of cell slime, called mucin, with glucose attached to the cell surface. As they morph, the cells decrease the mucin and glucose, so cancer cells have less glucose than healthy ones. The above picture shows normal cells on the left and cancer cells on the right.
By tuning the MRI is a very specific way, it makes the imaging more sensitive and better able to detect differences in glucose. Researchers are hoping that further research with this technique will, at the very least, help in needed biopsies, and maybe even make some biopsies unnecessary.
Check it out at www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2015/03/mri-based-sugar-molecule-tells-cancerous-noncancerous-cells?et_cid=4486838&et_rid=748938987&type=headline