Imaging System May Help Identify Breast Cancer Patients Likely to Respond to Chemotherapy

Imaging System May Help Identify Breast Cancer Patients Likely to Respond to Chemotherapy
A new imaging system under development uses red and near-infrared light to identify breast cancer patients who are likely to respond to chemotherapy, possibly as early as two weeks after beginning treatment, according to a pilot study. The non-invasive method tracks blood flow dynamics during a simple breath hold to predict patient responses. "There is currently no method that can predict treatment outcome of chemotherapy early on in treatment, so this is a major advance," Andreas Hielscher, the study's co-lead author, said in a press release. Hielscher is a professor of biomedical engineering and electrical engineering at Columbia Engineering and professor of radiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. The study, “Dynamic diffuse optical tomography for monitoring neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients,” were published in the journal Radiology. With the new dynamic optical system, researchers generate 3-D images of both breasts simultaneously and are able to monitor changes in blood flow, and how the blood interacts with breast tumors. "This helps us distinguish malignant from healthy tissue and tells us how the tumor is responding to chemotherapy earlier than other imaging techniques can," said Hielscher, who is also a member of the Breast Cancer Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, NewYork-Presb
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