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Measuring medicine: How new technologies could help doctors predict patient outcomes
Date:4/16/2008

movement of water within body tissue. It is commonly used to evaluate brain injury in stroke patients, and is gaining clinical popularity as a method for distinguishing different types of tissues or tumors.

In this study, researchers assessed brain tumor response by diffusion MRI in 60 patients with high grade glioma who were undergoing radiation therapy. The patients were assessed at one, three and 10 weeks after the start of radiation treatment. Researchers found measurable changes in diffusion MRI as assessed by fDM as early as the first week of treatment. Assessment at week three of therapy was a strong predictor of survival at one year. The strongest predictor was a combination of diffusion MRI and conventional MRI at week 10.

Ross says diffusion MRI is a better predictor of outcome at early stages of disease because it measures changes in cellular density. Researchers believe that a tumor responding to treatment will show decreased cell density, and, as a result, surrounding water will move more freely. Diffusion MRI enables physicians to see this water movement almost immediately instead of waiting the eight to 10 weeks traditionally needed to see if a particular treatment, such as radiation therapy, has shrunk a tumor, or if the tumor has grown.

This is a more accurate measure of tumor response than simply measuring the size of the tumor. Tumors may appear to get larger or have more contrast enhancement as a response to therapy even if the tumor is not actually growing, said Ross. Diffusion MRI may help differentiate which patients are doing well even if the tumor grows.


Presence of amphiregulin autocrine-loop predicts sensitivity of EGFR wild type cancers to gefitinib and cetuximab: Abstract 4958

Researchers have discovered a biomarker in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) wild-type nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines. This so-called
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Contact: Staci Vernick Goldberg
Staci.goldberg@aacr.org
267-646-0616
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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