UCSF Finds New Way to Image Brain Tumors

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Researchers at University of California at San Francisco have discovered a new way to monitor growth in brain tumors and improve treatment for people with low-grade glioma, a type of brain cancer.

The team was able to develop methods using MRI for monitoring a molecular marker in brain tumors that has been linked to better survival rates. The new discovery could better help physicians follow the success of their patients after surgery, says the University in its press release.

Physicians typically have some difficulty gauging whether cancer has returned and to what degree following neurosurgery.

The study, published this month in the journal Science Translational Medicine, looked at 50 patients with glioma that showed the presence of the chemical 2-HG, which is linked to a mutation in a gene associated with longer survival rates.

The imaging technique requires specialized equipment and methods sensitive enough to detect 2-HG. Further study is needed in order to adapt the method to one standard MRI machines can perform.