New MRI Contrast Agent Detects Smaller Aggressive Tumors
Case Western Reserve University scientists have developed a MRI contrast agent with the ability to detect smaller aggressive breast cancer tumors and micrometastases.
The MRI contrast agent works by binding to molecular markers, called fibrin-fibronectin complexes expressed in high-risk primary tumors and metastases. The gadolinium-based contrast agent contains a small peptide called CERKA, a chain of five amino acids, which does not adhere to healthy tissues.
Case Western Reserve University biomedical engineering professor Zheng-Rong Lu said that the agent can detect tumors as small as 300 microns, or a few hundred cells.
Testing on mice with breast cancer metastases revealed that the agent was effective at marking primary tumors and micrometastases in the lung, liver, lymph node, adrenal gland, bone and brain. — Michael Cipriano