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Medical News & Perspectives
May 9, 2007

Contrast Agent May Aid Cancer Detection

JAMA. 2007;297(18):1969. doi:10.1001/jama.297.18.1969

CHICAGO—A new contrast agent may one day help physicians detect breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue and help guide surgeons to more accurately excise malignant breast tumors, according to findings from preclinical studies presented at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting here in March.

This potential contrast agent could help identify malignant breast tumors when used with optical tomography, an emerging technology that uses near-infrared light to scan the body and create 3-dimensional images of tissues, said researchers from Harvard Medical School, in Boston, who presented the findings. Such an imaging technique would be more specific and sensitive than mammography.