First-in-Human Ultrasound Molecular Imaging in Patients with Breast and Ovarian Lesions

April 3, 2017

Research led by Dr. Juergen Willmann and Dr. Sanjiv "Sam" Gambhir and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has demonstrated a way to diagnose cancer without resorting to surgery, raising the possibility of far fewer biopsies.

For this first-in-humans clinical trial, women with either breast or ovarian tumors were injected intravenously with microbubbles capable of binding to and identifying cancer. The labeled microbubbles accumulated in the blood vessels of malignant tumors but not benign tumors. The labeled microbubbles bound to a receptor called KDR found on the blood vessels of tumors that were malignant, but not in those that were benign.