Imagion’s Breast Cancer Detection Method Using Magnetic Nanoparticles Moving into Clinical Trials

Imagion’s Breast Cancer Detection Method Using Magnetic Nanoparticles Moving into Clinical Trials
Imagion Biosystems' experimental breast cancer detection method — involving magnetic nanoparticles that stick to breast cancer cells — will be tested in a clinical trial later this year, according to a press release. Although breast cancer detection using mammography has saved the lives of many women, it still fails to detect 10-25 percent of tumors — mainly due to dense breast tissue — and cannot differentiate between aggressive tumors and those that are not life-threatening. Efforts are increasing to develop new diagnostic methods that are more sensitive and effective. One of those potential strategies involves the use of magnetic nanoparticles that target and bind to cancer cells and can be detected using superparamagnetic relaxometry. Superparamagnetic relaxometry is a technique that can tell the difference between magnetic nanoparticles bound to cancer cells and those moving freely through the body by detecting a small magnetic field released by the nanoparticles following a tiny magnetic pulse. These magnetic nanoparticles are coated with antibodies against specific biomarkers of cancer, such as HER2 — a cell surface protein — for an aggressive type of breast cancer. High levels of HER2 in breast cancer cells leads to increased tumor growth and potential to spread. The magnetic nanoparticles can be administered by an injection into the vein, and they will bind to the target cell due to the molecular attraction of th
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