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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  January 23, 2004
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New Technique to Diagnose Breast Cancer
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(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Researchers from the University of Minnesota are working on a new way to diagnose breast cancer without having to perform a biopsy on suspected tissue.

The technique uses high-level magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, along with a method developed by the investigators called spectroscopy that measures levels of key compounds known to be present in breast cancers. These choline (tCho) compounds are found in normal breast tissue as well, but are significantly elevated in women with breast cancer.

The combined technique, known as magnetic resonance spectroscopy, or MRS, is currently being tested in about 100 women, and the researchers are looking for additional women to add to the study. To be eligible, women must enroll before having a biopsy or surgery so that levels of tCho may be measured and then compared against results of a subsequent biopsy.

Study authors are confident the new method may eventually lead to a noninvasive way to diagnose breast cancer and measure its progress. Michael Garwood, Ph.D., says, "We found tCho concentrations to be significantly higher in malignancies than in benign lumps and normal breast tissues using this quantitative method. Using high magnetic fields and this spectroscopic technique may produce a powerful way to diagnose breast cancer and to monitor its response to treatment. We hope this technique will eventually be used to avoid unnecessary biopsy."

For women interested in learning more about the study, call (612) 273-1944.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2003;50;1134-1143

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