Imaging Technique May Guide Breast Cancer Surgery

New MRI techonology gives surgeons 'road map'

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TUESDAY, Aug. 24, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A non-invasive imaging technique that provides images of lymph nodes and cancerous tissue in breast cancer patients may help surgeons better pinpoint which tissue needs to be removed or left intact during surgery.

This approach, which uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a novel MRI agent, has been tested in mice by scientists at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI). The results were presented Aug. 23 at the American Chemical Society's meeting in Philadelphia.

"Our advance is that we have a non-invasive method that may minimize surgical trauma," team leader Martin Brechbiel, section chief of the radioimmune and inorganic chemistry section at the NCI's radiation oncology branch, said in a prepared statement.

"At the least, surgeons can acquire a set of images and have a feel, a road map if you will, for what they need to do before the (surgical) procedure begins. Ultimately, the technology could have the potential to replace surgery, though that's not proven yet," Brechbiel said.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about breast cancer.

SOURCE: American Chemical Society, news release, Aug. 23, 2004

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