Light-emitting nanoprobes can detect cancer early and track the spread of tiny tumors
Using light-emitting nanoparticles, Rutgers University-New Brunswick scientists have invented a highly effective method to detect tiny tumors and track their spread, potentially leading to earlier cancer detection and more precise treatment.
The technology could improve patient cure rates and survival times.
“We’ve always had this dream that we can track the progression of cancer in real time, and that’s what we’ve done here,” said Prabhas V. Moghe, a corresponding author of the study and distinguished professor of biomedical engineering and chemical and biochemical engineering at Rutgers-New Brunswick. “We’ve tracked the disease in its very incipient stages.”
The study, published online Dec.11 in Nature Biomedical Engineering, shows that the new method is better than magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other cancer surveillance technologies. The research team included Rutgers’ flagship research institution (Rutgers University-New Brunswick) and its academic health center (Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, or RBHS).
“The Achilles’ heel of surgical management for cancer is the presence of micro metastases. This is also a problem for proper staging or treatment planning. The nanoprobes described in this paper will go a long way to solving these problems,” said Steven K. Libutti, director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. He is senior vice president of oncology services for RWJBarnabas Health and vice chancellor for cancer programs for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.
The ability to spot early tumors that are starting to spread remains a major challenge in cancer diagnosis and treatment, as most imaging methods fail to detect small cancerous lesions. But the Rutgers study shows that tiny tumors in mice can be detected with the injection of nanoprobes, which are microscopic optical devices, that emit short-wave infrared light as they travel through the bloodstream – even tracking tiny tumors in multiple organs.
The nanoprobes were significantly faster than MRIs at detecting the minute spread of tiny lesions and tumors in the adrenal glands and bones in mice. That would likely translate to detection months earlier in people, potentially resulting in saved lives, said Vidya Ganapathy, a corresponding author and assistant research professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
“Cancer cells can lodge in different niches in the body, and the probe follows the spreading cells wherever they go,” she said. “You can treat the tumors intelligently because now you know the address of the cancer.”
The technology could be used to detect and track the 100-plus types of cancer, and could be available within five years, Moghe said. Real-time surveillance of lesions in multiple organs should lead to more accurate pre- and post-therapy monitoring of cancer.
“You can potentially determine the stage of the cancer and then figure out what’s the right approach for a particular patient,” he said.
In the future, nanoprobes could be used in any surgeries to mark tissues that surgeons want to remove, the researchers said. The probes could also be used to track the effectiveness of immunotherapy, which includes stimulating the immune system to fight cancer cells.
The Latest on: Cancer detection and tracking
- Missouri State Highway Patrol K-9 says goodbye after terminal cancer diagnosison June 25, 2020 at 6:20 pm
The Missouri State Highway Patrol is mourning after a lifelong service member in the state was diagnosed with terminal cancer. K-9 Cuba went on his final walk Monday, according to a Facebook post from ...
- Light-activated 'CRISPR' enables fast, precise gene editing and detection of DNA repairon June 23, 2020 at 1:05 pm
In a series of experiments co-funded by the National Science Foundation, scientists at Johns Hopkins have used light as a trigger to make quick, precise cuts in the genomic material of human cancer ...
- Signature of virus exposure may help detect liver canceron June 23, 2020 at 10:32 am
A blood test that measures people’s exposure to different viruses identified those who later developed liver cancer. The test could play an important role in improving outcomes for patients.
- Getting cancer services back on track during the COVID-19 pandemicon June 23, 2020 at 9:10 am
For healthcare to truly be back on track, we need to think bigger than cancer diagnosis and treatment. Smoking continues to be the biggest preventable cause of cancer, illness and death in the UK ...
- NIC Startup Xylexa Working on Cancer Detection Raises Pre-Seed Roundon June 23, 2020 at 5:22 am
The National Incubation Center has announced that its alumni startup, Xylexa, has raised a pre-seed round of investment. Xylexa is ...
- Dr. Marc Siegel urges Americans to 'get back on track' with cancer care, screening and treatmenton June 19, 2020 at 1:06 pm
Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel told "America's Newsroom" that a top U.S. cancer doctor's warning that delays in screenings and treatments due to the coronavirus pandemic will lead to ...
- 10,000 more cancer deaths predicted because of COVID-19 pandemicon June 19, 2020 at 11:54 am
A leading cancer doctor blames delayed cancer screenings, treatments and halted research for the anticipated surge in cancer deaths.
- A man learned he had terminal cancer three years ago. This Father’s Day, he has a wife and a child.on June 19, 2020 at 5:00 am
Three years later, he said he's done crying. There is much to celebrate this Father’s Day and every day, said Nicholas, now 29, who surpassed the 18 months his doctors gave him to live after his ...
- New testing system will track relapses and trace hard to detect cancerson June 18, 2020 at 5:53 am
A new procedure to accurately detect certain cancers and monitor potential relapses has been developed. The new technique, developed by scientists, would require less invasive surgery and up to 10 ...
- ArcherDX Enters Collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb to Apply Personalized Cancer Monitoring (PCM™) to Clinical Researchon June 18, 2020 at 4:00 am
ArcherDX, Inc. today announced it is entering into a collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) to utilize Personalized Cancer ...
via Google News and Bing News