Today, breast cancer patients often find themselves in a waiting game. Now, new research suggests there's a way to speed up the clock. Dr. Timothy Johnson has more.
Trial and error. When you're a breast cancer patient, that's often the frustrating reality of treatment. The first treatment you get... may not be the one that works. And it may take months to know it.
That's how long it takes before imaging tests can show if a tumor is shrinking - a sign that the medicine is working. But today, Vanderbilt Researchers say a new technique could provide this answer in as little as 2 days.
How could that be? Knowing that cancer cells break down sugar much faster than healthy cells, instead of looking at a tumor's size, these scientists use a technique called "optical metabolic imaging" to see how quickly the tumor is using sugar. If the tumor burns through sugar more slowly after treatment begins, it means there are fewer cancer cells, and doctors are on the right path.
More research is needed before this test makes it to the doctor's office. But it is a promising sign that soon, for women getting breast cancer treatment... The waiting game could be much shorter.
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