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A new imaging test known as magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MR) may soon be able to help doctors identify the precise location of prostate cancer while determining the tumor's strength. Researchers hope the technology will help guide treatment planning in future years.
A study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital used magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which analyzes the biochemistry of a tumor rather than the structure of the tissue, on five cancerous prostate glands that were recently removed from patients.
When comparing the results of the scan with those of the conventional technique, scientists found that five of the seven heavily cancerous regions were identified using the new method. The two other cancerous sections were close to the outer edges of the prostates and were exposed to air, which can compromise the accuracy of the results.
Lead researcher Leo Cheng hopes that a similar manner of analysis can be used on patients before any surgery needs to take place.
"As long as we can define appropriate metabolomic profiles, this concept could someday be used for any kind of tumor or medical condition," adds Cheng.
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