Nanotechnology helps track down micrometastases missed by MRI
Roisin McGuigan |
Tracking tiny tumors in real time could soon be a reality, thanks to a new nanotechnology-based approach for following the spread of micrometastases (1).
A team of researchers from Rutgers University and Cancer Institute of New Jersey, USA, and Singapore University of Technology and Design.
Current imaging methods cannot spot tumors in the early stages of metastases, confounding cancer staging and treatment decisions – and the “Achilles heel” of surgical management, say the authors.
Light-emitting nanoparticles are injected intravenously and reveal lesions that can’t be detected using contrast-enhanced MRI, allowing real-time surveillance of cancer spread in a mouse model (see Figure 1).
According to the authors, the technology could be available in the clinic within five years, and lead to more accurate cancer monitoring.
- H Kantamneni et al., “Surveillance nanotechnology for multi-organ cancer metastases”, Nat Biomed Eng, 1, 993–1003 (2017).