In a recent research conducted at university of London, scientists have discovered a new technique, which will help in scanning for cancer cells via MRI using sugar. They have claimed that this technique is much safer and cheaper than the present procedures. Additionally this technique will help in generating better images.
The technique , Glucose chemical exchange saturation transfer or glucoCEST is based on the assumption that tumor cells in order to grow rapidly consume more glucose than a normal cell. The scientist found that when the MRI scanning was done after injecting glucose in the body , these tumor cells became more prominent.
University college of London CAB department head, Dr Simon Walker Samuel said glucoCEST uses magnetic rays to find glucose rich cells. He said that only a glucose injection in given to the subject in order to conduct this test. It is safer than current methods where radioactive materials are injected in the patient’s body to identify tumor cells.
According to Associate Professor, Dr Mark Lythgoe, in future this method can help to scan for tumor cells using a small amount of glucose present in a small piece of chocolates. We have finally found a cheap and quick method to detect cancer cells through MRI. He further said that currently cancer scanning is available in very few hospitals due to high cost of equipments – required to carry our tests using old techniques, but in future the patents need not go to these special hospitals for scanning for cancer cells.
This new technique is in its final phase of testing on humans. Dr walker Samuel has also told that at a later stage, they are planning to extend their study on finding out if similar technique(using glucose) can be used for scanning of pregnant women and small children by replacing doses of coloring agent with glucose injection.