Navigation Links
Microbubbles to light the way to sentinel lymph nodes of breast cancer patients

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego are developing nonsurgical methods for identifying critical lymph nodes to help doctors determine courses of treatment for breast cancer patients. The "sentinel lymph node" is routinely biopsied or removed and dissected to determine the likelihood that the cancer has spread beyond the breast. Dr. Andrew Goodwin, a post doctoral fellow in the Department of Nanoengineering in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering recently received a Breast Cancer Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the U.S. Department of Defense to use novel microbubbles to mark and interrogate the sentinel lymph node by means of a simple ultrasound scan.

"Since analysis of tumor stage is important for all breast cancer patients, this work would be expected to help many patients," explained Goodwin.

Cancer cells can detach from a primary tumor and enter the bloodstream by way of the lymph nodes. To determine if the cancer is spreading to other parts of the body, surgeons will biopsy or remove the lymph nodes to look for invading cells. Finding cancer cells in the lymph nodes often changes the course of treatment in an effort to kill any cancer cells that have already spread beyond the breast. Removing just the first, or sentinel, lymph node for analysis helps to reduce the likelihood of developing lymphedema, a painful, long-term swelling at the area of dissection.

The benefits of sentinel lymph node dissection for breast cancer patients were underscored by research findings recently published in The Journal of the American Medical Association:

However, identifying the correct lymph node to remove is not straightforward. Current methods require injection of radioactive colloids, which tend to blur at the injection site, or blue dye, which leaches into multiple nodes and can only be observed after opening up the patient. These "black box" methods provide little information about the structure of the lymph nodes at the tumor site, and both require the patient to be prepared for a surgery that may be unnecessary if the contrast administration is unsuccessful.

Ultrasound and Microbubbles

"I'm trying to develop a better way to mark the sentinel lymph node," says Goodwin. His approach involves using ultrasound high-frequency sound waves used in medical imaging applications such as prenatal sonograms and gas-filled microbubbles with fluorescent outer shells. These microbubbles capable of loading large amounts of dye are described in a recent article in the journal Soft Matter by Goodwin and coworkers.

If Goodwin's vision translates to the clinic, a physician would inject the fluorescent microbubbles into the tumor and then use ultrasound to visualize the bubbles as they drain away from the tumor and into the lymph nodes under the arm. Once the lymph nodes have been imaged and the sentinel lymph node identified, the radiologist will turn up the power of the ultrasound beam but just in the area surrounding the sentinel lymph node. This will burst the microbubbles and release non-toxic fluorescent polymer that is designed to stick specifically in the lymph nodes for extended periods, allowing both the doctor and patient to adequately prepare for the lymph node dissection surgery.

For now, critical next steps include testing how the outer shell of the microbubbles interact with the lymph node lining, as well as tests in animal models.


Contact: Daniel Kane
University of California - San Diego

Related medicine news :

1. Review highlights need for more education and guidance on CAM use in midwifery
2. Competing risks analysis highlights new targets in preventing ESRD and death of diabetics
3. Research Sheds Light on Gene Linked to Preeclampsia
4. Research presented at 2011 GU Cancers Symposium highlights advances in treatment of prostate cancer
5. SMFM highlights significance of spina bifida research findings
6. Birth Defect Risk Slightly Higher for Kids of Male Cancer Survivors
7. Male cancer survivor offspring slightly higher risk of congenital birth abnormalities
8. Voice-saver: Light therapy for early-stage laryngeal cancer
9. Speaker series highlights the role of animals in human culture
10. Smoking Scenes in Movies Light Up Smokers Brains
11. Cigarette Ads Do Spur Teens to Light Up, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Microbubbles to light the way to sentinel lymph nodes of breast cancer patients
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... PYA’s latest ... Integration ,” addresses a main “pain point” for merging or aligning healthcare provider ... a deal is signed. This quick-read guidance suggests that failing to recognize ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd., ... largest order to date. , The order will be from the China Disabled ... Cochlear Implant System is an effective solution for children and adults suffering from ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... companies, announced today that it has officially launched a sleek, mobile-ready and user-centric ... that his company’s new website clearly outlines the benefits that its SEO services ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Christina Colon as a 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the ... NAPW is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... MN (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... is the latest carrier to offer individual vision insurance plans on ... the unique ability to rate and review products, allowing consumers to compare, quote ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)...  The migration to value-based care will require ... that help patients stay healthy and reduce healthcare ... enabled, incorporate care guidelines and be reflective of ... also allow all stakeholders to collaborate across care ... That is the vision, however, research by Chilmark ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... -- --> --> ... (NKI-AVL), among the world,s largest and most prestigious ... Icon™, the company,s latest generation stereotactic radiosurgery system ... --> With the option to use ... Knife Icon offers greatly enhanced flexibility in how ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 ... segments the concerned market with analysis and forecast of ... orthobiologics report defines and segments the concerned market with ... to the Market Research Report "North American Orthobiologics Market ... Factors & Spinal Stimulation, Stem Cell Therapy, Viscosupplementation), by ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: