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In Medical Imaging, a New Type of MRI Makes Malignant Tissue Shine

A novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that causes malignant tissue to shine in medical images might assist doctors in identifying and monitoring cancer progression more precisely.

The invention, developed by University of Waterloo researchers, produces photos in which malignant tissue appears to light up compared to healthy tissue, making it possible to spot.

“Our studies show this new technology has promising potential to improve cancer screening, prognosis and treatment planning,” Alexander Wong, a professor of systems design engineering at Waterloo and a Canada Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Medical Imaging, said.

Due to irregular cell packing, water molecules travel differently in malignant tissue than they do in healthy tissue. The novel synthetic correlated diffusion imaging method reveals these disparities by recording, synthesising, and combining MRI signals at varying gradient pulse intensities and timings.

The researchers worked with medical professionals from the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, several Toronto hospitals, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research to deploy the technique to a cohort of 200 prostate cancer patients inside the largest study.

Synthetic correlated diffusion imaging outperformed normal MRI approaches in identifying substantial malignant tissue, giving it a potentially useful tool for clinicians and radiologists.

“Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in more developed countries,” said Wong, a director of the Vision and Image Processing (VIP) Lab at Waterloo. ” That’s why we focused our research on it initially.

“We also have very promising breast cancer screening, detection, and treatment planning results. This could be a game-changer for many kinds of cancer imaging and clinical decision support.”

A novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that causes malignant tissue to shine in medical images might help doctors identify and monitor cancer progression more precisely.

Hayden Gunraj and Vignesh Sivan, both engineering graduate students at Waterloo, plus Dr Masoom Haider of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Study Institute, were also part of the main research team.

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