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Paired CT scans catch chemo-killing of liver tumors in real time
Date:12/31/2012

half the amount of radiation involved in a modern abdominal 64-CT scan. Cone-beam CT scanners also emit an X-ray, but unlike other CT scanners, the cone-beam type of X-ray is projected onto one large, rectangular detector, roughly a foot and a half long -- and produces a telltale conical shape. The size of the cone-beam CT detector allows for single scans that can capture images the size of most people's entire liver. More powerful 64-CT and 320-CT scanners involve multiple detector rows.

Chemoembolization entails the use of tiny beads containing the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin injected directly into liver tumors.

Ultrathin catheters, about the width of a human hair, are threaded through blood vessels to deliver the drugs, which seep from the beads for several weeks.

Geschwind is leading clinical trials under way at Johns Hopkins and other centers to assess whether the combination drug treatment works for liver cancer patients. Early results have shown promise, with patients with advanced disease living 10 months to 15 months longer.

Geschwind says they plan improvements in image quality in DPCBCT scans, hoping further refinements will encourage physicians to adopt the technique. They also plan updates to the navigational software that, like GPS, can track blood vessels feeding each tumor, and provide more precise and greater numbers of targets.


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Contact: David March
dmarch1@jhmi.edu
410-955-1534
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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