Public Release: 

Microwave imaging can see how well treatment is progressing

BioMed Central


IMAGE: Microwave imaging can be used to monitor how well treatment for breast cancer is working, finds new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Breast Cancer Research.... view more

Credit: Paul M Meaney

Microwave imaging can be used to monitor how well treatment for breast cancer is working, finds new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Breast Cancer Research. Microwave tomography was able to distinguish between breast cancer, benign growths, and normal tissue.

Eight women with breast cancer were treated with chemotherapy until surgery, as part of their normal therapy. During treatment, magnetic resonance image was supplemented with microwave tomography at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Regions of high conductivity corresponded to the tumors, low conductivity to normal tissues, and unlike other imaging techniques, body mass index (indicating the amount of body fat), age or breast density did not appear to affect the results.

This imaging technique is low cost and can be repeated at numerous stages during treatment. Paul Meaney from Dartmouth College, who led the study explained, "By recalling patients for scans during their treatment we found that we could actually see tumors shrinking in women who responded to chemotherapy. Microwave tomography could therefore be used to identify women who are not responding to initial therapy and their treatment changed appropriately at an early stage."


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1. Microwave imaging for neoadjuvant chemotherapy monitoring: initial clinical experience Paul M Meaney, Peter A Kaufman, Lori S Muffly, Michael Click, Steven P Poplack, Wendy A Wells, Gary N Schwartz, Roberta M di Florio-Alexander, Tor D Tosteson, Zhongze Li, Shireen D Geimer, Margaret W Fanning, Tian Zhou, Neil R Epstein and Keith D Paulsen Breast Cancer Research (in press)

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2. Breast Cancer Research is an international, peer-reviewed online journal, publishing original research, reviews, commentaries and reports. Research articles of exceptional interest are published in all areas of biology and medicine relevant to breast cancer, including normal mammary gland biology, with special emphasis on the genetic, biochemical, and cellular basis of breast cancer. In addition, the journal publishes clinical studies with a biological basis, including Phase I and Phase II trials.

3. BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector. @BioMedCentral

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