Ultrasound combined with contrasting agent for radiation-free tumor detection


University of North Carolina Professor Nancy Klauber-Demore has improved the resolution and tumor-detecting ability of ultrasound scans.

Combining ultrasound with a contrast agent composed of tiny bubbles that pair with an antibody that many cancer cells produce at higher levels than do normal cells, Klauber-Demore was able to visualize lesions created by angiosarcoma.  By binding to the protein SFRP2, the contrast agent may help distinguish malignant from benign masses found on imaging.  Since SFRP2 is expressed in many cancers – including breast, colon, pancreas, ovarian, and kidney tumors – the technique could potentially be useful for a broad range of cancer types.  As the level of SFRP2 in tumors increases as tumors develop, the team will also investigate whether the technique can be used to track tumor growth.


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