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New imaging method spots liver cancer at early stage

Fri, May 15, 2015, 01:50 PM
New York, May 15, 2015: US researchers have developed a new imaging method that can detect liver cancer and other liver diseases at an earlier stage than what current leading methods can, reports a new study.

"Liver cancers associated with high mortality rates and poor treatment responses are often diagnosed in the late stages because there is not a reliable way to detect primary liver cancer and metastasis at a size smaller than one centimetre," said lead study author Jenny Yang, professor at Georgia State University, in the US.

The new method can scan liver tumours that measure less than 0.25 millimetres, the study reported.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the leading imaging technique to detect disease without using radiation. MRI contrast or imaging agents aid MRI techniques to obtain tissue-specific images.

However, according to the researchers the applications of MRI contrast agents are not effective for early detection of cancerous tumours because they are hampered by uncontrolled blood circulation time, low relaxation rate or sensitivity, and low specificity.

Most contrast agents, Yang said, are rapidly excreted from the liver, not allowing sufficient time to obtain quality imaging.
Agency: IANS
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