Functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (the disease commonly referred to as pancreatic cancer) carries the worst prognosis of any cancer. As current treatments offer minimal benefit, entirely new approaches are needed. Given the success of local therapies, as opposed to intravenous systemic therapies, for liver diseases (such as hepatocellular carcinoma), it is thought that similar local therapies may benefit patients with pancreatic cancer. To develop such therapies, it would be useful to devise targets that are easy to obtain and can indicate the efficacy of these new therapies in models of pancreatic cancer.

This research, led by Dr. Robert Lewandowski and colleagues at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and recently published on July 14, 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, addresses this need. Using a rabbit model of pancreatic cancer that allows for arterial catheterization, the authors aimed to test the hypotheses that advanced functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be used to assess regional differences in tumor function in this model. It was found that the two types of functional MRI studied (diffusion-weighted MRI and transcatheter intraarterial perfusion MRI) could be used to differentiate living tumor cells from dead tumor cells and thus can be used to assess tumor viability.

Numerous models of pancreatic cancer currently exist, but this research is the first to assess functional MRI in the VX2 rabbit model of pancreatic cancer studied in this work. Using these findings, it may be possible in the future to assess therapeutic efficacy in this animal model using functional MRI as opposed to more invasive techniques such as biopsy or necropsy.

Reference: Lewandowski RJ, Eifler AC, Bentrem DJ, Chung JC, Wang D, Woloschak GE, Yang GY, Ryu R, Salem R, Larson AC, Omary RA. Functional magnetic resonance imaging in an animal model of pancreatic cancer. World J Gastroenterol 2010; 16(26): 3292-3298

Correspondence to: Robert J Lewandowski, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 676 N St Clair St, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60611, United States. [email protected]

Telephone: +1-312-6959121 Fax: +1-312-9265991

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2009 IF: 2.092. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

About The WJG Press

The WJG Press mainly publishes World Journal of Gastroenterology.


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