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Researchers in St Louis have developed a technique using a non-invasive mechanism to both shrink tumours and track their growth.
The Washington University School of Medicine team used fumagillin to eliminate blood vessels around a tumour thereby depriving the tumour of the blood and oxygen that it needs to grow and reducing the tumour’s size by as much as one half.
The drug allows for the monitoring of a tumour without surgery as it contains a component that can produce an image of the tumour through a process similar to that used in an MRI.
From that image, doctors create a neovascular map – a three-dimensional model of the tumour.
This is the first time that such an imaging technology has been used in an animal larger than a mouse. Researchers conducted this most recent study on rabbits and plan to apply it to human cancer patients within one year.
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