New MRI lights up cancerous tissue for improved detection

Doctors could more accurately detect and track cancer progression with a new form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that makes cancer tissue glow in medical images.

cancer tissue
(AdobeStock Image)

Developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada, the innovation produces images in which cancerous tissue appears to glow compared to healthy tissue.

“Our studies show that this new technology has promising potential to improve cancer screening, prognosis and treatment planning,” said Alexander Wong, Canada Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Medical Imaging and a professor of systems design engineering at Waterloo, in a statement.

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According to the university, irregular packing of cells leads to differences in the way water molecules move in cancer tissue compared to healthy tissue. The new technology – synthetic correlated diffusion imaging – emphasizes these differences by capturing, synthesizing and mixing MRI signals with different gradient pulse strengths and timing.

In what is said to be the largest study of its kind, the researchers teamed up with medical experts from the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, several Toronto hospitals and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research to apply the technology to a cohort of 200 patients. with prostate cancer.

Compared to standard MRI techniques, synthetic correlated diffusion imaging was better at delineating significant cancer tissue, making it a potential tool for physicians and radiologists.

“Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in more developed countries,” said Wong, also director of the Vision and Image Processing (VIP) Lab in Waterloo. “That’s why we focused on that first in our research.

“We also have promising results for breast cancer screening, detection and treatment. This could be a game-changer for many types of cancer imaging and clinical decision support.”

The research team included Hayden Gunraj and Vignesh Sivan, engineering graduates at Waterloo, and Dr. Masoom Haider of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.

their paper, Hyperintensity of synthetically correlated diffusion imaging outlines clinically significant prostate cancerwas published in Scientific Reports.

Abhishek Maheswari
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