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24 Apr 2013

Microwave tomography helps identify effectiveness of breast cancer treatment

Microwave imaging may be a useful way to monitor the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment.

Microwave tomography may be able to identify the effectiveness of breast cancer treatments at an early stage, enabling treatments to be changed in cases where the patient is not responding.
That is according to a study from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centre and published in BioMed Central's open access journal Breast Cancer Research.
The research showed age, breast density and body mass index did not obscure the results, which can be an issue with the use of other imaging techniques.
In fact, regions of high conductivity corresponded to the tumours and low conductivity corresponded to normal tissues, painting a clear view of the progress of the cancer.
"By recalling patients for scans during their treatment, we found that we could actually see tumours shrinking in women who responded to chemotherapy," said Paul Meany, who led the study.
He added: "Microwave tomography could therefore be used to identify women who are not responding to initial treatment and their treatment changed appropriately at an early stage."
The study was carried out on eight breast cancer patients who were being treated with chemotherapy until surgery.

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