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  • Researchers to Test Molecular Imaging for Cancer Detection
Apr 2003
ANDOVER, Mass., April 24 -- Royal Philips Electronics, The Dow Chemical Co. and Kereos Inc. announced today they are collaborating in a $2.8 million, three-year contract awarded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to Barnes Jewish Hospital (BJH) and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The project will facilitate the development and testing of novel molecular imaging agents that, combined with advanced imaging systems, should enable earlier, noninvasive detection of certain cancers.

Washington University researchers at BJH will collaborate with Philips and Dow under the NCI contract to create and evaluate contrast and therapeutic agents designed to seek out molecular targets for the purpose of diagnosing and, ultimately, treating cancers. The contract includes the development of nuclear imaging technology and image analysis techniques to provide the highest possible image quality and information about patients' diseases.

"This project involves the development of agents that can locate and attach to newly forming vasculature, which is an early sign of tumor development," said Gregory Lanza, MD, PhD, principal investigator for the NCI project and assistant professor of medical and bioengineering at Washington University School of Medicine. "Labeled with radioactive markers, these agents can be imaged with a nuclear medicine camera, allowing us to capture images of neovasculature, and thereby determine the location and extent of tumor development in the body. If we are successful, this technique will provide the next 'state of the art' in cancer detection, diagnosis and care."

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