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Brain Tumor Patients Survival Depends on Predicting Treatment Responses Earlier

rapidly the response to a treatment, she added.

"We studied the predictive value of PET with FLT, a marker of cell proliferation, in patients with recurrent malignant brain tumors, said Chen. "We used molecular imaging to measure the changes of metabolism in tumor cells," and FLT-PET provided much higher response rates than MRI, she explained. Additionally, the research shows the FLT-PET imaging is predictive of patients' outcomesindicating that in those cases where patients responded to drug treatment, they lived three times as long as those who did not, she added.

"FLT-PETas an imaging biomarkeris strongly predictive of overall survival for these patients with brain cancer," she noted. "No matter one's age, number of times cancer recurred or number of prior drug treatmentsFLT-PET was the most powerful independent predictor of survival," she said.

The drug bevacizumab is an antiangiogenic agent, which inhibits the development of blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen that contribute to a tumor's growth, said Chen. "Until this study, there were no reliable predictors of therapeutic response for patients with primary brain tumors undergoing treatment with these types of drugs," said Chen. "Our research paves the way for developing drugs that could improve the lives of those with malignant brain tumors," said Chen, adding that research will continue factoring in metabolic response into drug treatment.

PET is a safe, highly specialized, noninvasive imaging technique that uses short-lived radioactive substances to produce three-dimensional images of those substances functioning within the body. A special type of camera works with computers to provide precise pictures of the areas of the body being imaged and molecular images of the body's biological functions.


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