Wisconsin medical school receives $300K for brain cancer imaging

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The National Cancer Institute has bestowed the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, a two-year, $333,300 grant to develop a new imaging technique to detect the spread of tumor cells in the brain. 

Glioma is malignant tumor of the central nervous system that infiltrates brain tissue. Currently, there are not a non-invasive methods to detect invading brain tumor cells, which is why brain tumors are believed to be incurable. A brain tumor imaging approach capable of such detection would dramatically improve the prognosis and treatment for brain tumor patients, according to Kathleen M. Schmainda, PhD, associate professor of radiology research and principal study investigator.

With the grant, Schmainda hopes to develop a diffusion-based MRI technique to detect glioma invasion. The goal is to provide physicians with information specific to invading tumor cells that is not confused by the presence of other conditions such as excessive fluid or radiation effects, both of which are commonly present in glioma patients.