Thursday, September 27, 2007


Recent clinical research studies on a new imaging technology are demonstrating amazing results in detecting cancer without so much as breaking the skin. The technology, elastography, is mainly utilized through ultrasound but also is used in MRI. How does elastography work? Below is the best diagram I could find that best visually demonstrates how elastography works.


Recently, studies have demonstrated remarkable detection accuracy rates in thyroid, prostate, and breast cancer detection. Last year, a small breast cancer detection study involving 80 women accurately distinguished 100% of malignant tumors and 99% of non-malignant tumors. In another small preliminary study for detecting prostate cancer presented last month, elastography demonstrated excellent detection accuracy. The authors went so far as to state, "the cancer detection rate with real-time elastography was superior to the rates of other modalities..." This month a thyroid study conducted in Italy demonstrated encouraging results stating that elastography has "great potential" in certain tumor types.

Additionally, the costs for elastography are predicted to be remarkably less expensive then the cost for a typical biopsy today. The results will be almost immediate as well as you don't have to send tissue away for interpretation by a clinical pathologist.

For now, further research on a larger scale is being planned with hopes of demonstrating similar results. If the technology demonstrates the same accuracy level on a wider scale, many are predicting that biopsies will drastically be reduced which will result in less unnecessary invasive procedures, less time loss from work, and overall better care for patients.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Gotham Prize for Cancer Research

I come across a novel approach to spur cancer research ideas today. The Gotham Prize for Cancer Research is offering 1 million dollars annually to the most innovative cancer research idea. Anyone can submit an idea even without proof that it will work. A scientific panel reviews all applicants and decides if the idea is worthy of consideration. I applaud such efforts from the private community. We need more and more ideas such as this.