Researchers at City College of New York and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, both in New York, have received a four-year, $1.36 million grant from the Fort Detrick, Md.-based US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Breast Cancer Research Program. The scientists will use the money to evaluate the effectiveness of near-infrared light-based imaging techniques for breast cancer detection and diagnosis as well as for assessment of tumor aggressiveness. Initially, the investigators will try to obtain images, locate abnormalities and distinguish between tumors and normal tissue in a model breast containing known growths. They will compare their results to those obtained with MRI and x-rays. They also will monitor the growth rate of tumors implanted into animal models using near-infrared and microvessel density tests, after which they may seek additional funding for in vivo studies. Eventually, the institutions would like to use near-infrared radiation for distinguishing between malignant and benign, and between slow- and fast-growing tumors. The program also should help the college build a breast cancer research and training program.
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