A new 3D imaging technique developed is a breakthrough in brain tumors for clinical purposes. The technique developed by a researcher at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine improves the visibility of brain tumors in MRI scans. Further, the technique displays the capacity to enable earlier diagnosis of brain tumors at a treatable stage.
A study carried out in 54 patients with brain tumors revealed the technique to provide a two-fold improvement in comparison to existing MRI techniques widely used. The technique greatly improved visibility of tumor and ease of detection.
“The goal for the new technique is to help thousands of patients by allowing detection of malignant tumors at an earlier, more treatable stage,” said the inventor of the technique.
Technique noticeably useful for Small Malignant Tumors
In fact, the benefit of the new technique is clearly noticeable for very small malignant tumors. The ones that are difficult to see and may be missed with existing standard imaging techniques. Meanwhile, the technique underpins hope for patients undergoing treatment by radiotherapy or surgery. With improved visibility of tumor borders on scans, it ensures the entire tumor is treated and results in better outcomes.
To better understand how the new technique improves visibility of tumor on MRI scans, the challenge of trying to observe stars during daytime is an analogy. “In fact, the contrast between stars and sunlit sky to make the stars visible isn’t enough,” stated the scientist behind the invention. Meanwhile, the technique doubles the contrast between the normal brain and tumors, so the tumors are easily visible. The analogy is to look at the stars on a dark night instead on a sunny day.