New device tracks breast cancer growth

February 13, 2007
Volume 04    |   Issue 07

Researchers at MIT are excited. They?re working on a tiny implant that can tell whether a chemotherapy drug is working or not. The researchers believe the implant will help doctors treat their breast cancer patients more effectively. But should you use it?

The implant is made of silicone and is surgically placed in the body. The researchers sealed extremely small particles called nanoparticles into it. So they can program it to test for various substances associated with tumor growth.

These nanoparticles are like little hunting devices. The doctor programs them to detect specific molecules and bind to them. This causes them to clump together. Then your doctor can see this clumping on an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). The implant can find tumors, and show whether a tumor is shrinking, growing, or spreading.

Sounds fascinating.

I guess these researchers don?t know that there?s already something that does the same thing. It requires no surgery. It?s doesn?t use silicone - a suspected cause of breast cancer. And it identifies tumors and shows their progression.

I wrote about this diagnostic tool three years ago. Most doctors call it thermography or digital infrared imaging (DII). Thermography uses an infrared camera to take a picture of the heat patterns in your breasts - or in any other area of your body. When cancer cells begin to cluster together, the body sends out more blood vessels to feed them. Thermography detects these heat-producing blood vessels.

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A Canadian surgical oncologist, Dr. Keyserlingk, conducted a test on women with advanced breast cancer. He wanted to see whether or not the chemotherapy treatments they were on were working. Bottom line: thermograms were effective in detecting both positive and negative changes in all of his subjects.

The implications for using thermography to chart the progress of a cancer are enormous. Your doctor can use thermography to track the effectiveness of other substances as well, such as herbs and modified citrus pectin. It can do this without programming nanoparticles. Without surgery. And at an affordable cost.

Expect your doctor to tell you about this implant device when it?s out. Meanwhile, you can get a list of clinics that use thermography when you subscribe to my newsletter (you?ll also get up to 17 free special reports). See my website at www.www.womenshealthletter.com for more information.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,

Source:

web.mit.edu/

www.womenshealthletter.com

December 2003.

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