A new method of detecting early-stage cancer is getting the green light from the FDA, meaning human trials will commence in the coming two years. The new imaging method was intended for detecting metastatic cancer in the liver, but the researchers say it could be applied to a number of other types of cancer.
The new study, published in the journal Science Advances, describes the development of a new MRI contrast agent that combines MRI image-enhancing gadolinium with a novel protein designed to hone in on and bind to CXCR4 receptors.
Yes, that might sound like a whole lot of medical jargon, but basically these receptors are known to be over-expressed in the presence of metastatic cancer. The new imaging method can detect these receptors, something which was previously not possible. By doing this, cancer can be detected earlier, thus improving the success rate of applied treatments.
Of course, we shouldn’t get too ahead of ourselves as this new method goes to human trials, but we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for its development.