Dr Yann Jamin, one of our Children with Cancer UK Research Fellows, has worked with colleagues at The Institute of Cancer Research and the University of Manchester to develop a new imaging test.
A lack of oxygen, or hypoxia, is often a sign that a cancer is growing aggressively. Hypoxia also stimulates the growth of blood vessels within tumours, which in turn can fuel the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body. There is therefore a clinical need to identify regions of tumour hypoxia in a non-invasive manner.
By measuring oxygen levels within the body researchers are able to collect more information about a tumour. This would aid with prognostic and predictive analyses, radiotherapy planning and therapy monitoring.
The new imaging test called Oxygen Enhanced MRI (OE-MRI) could enable doctors to identify these regions of hypoxia, and therefore detect more dangerous tumours before they spread around the body and tailor treatment accordingly.