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Tracking immune cells in mouse tumours

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Swiss researchers have found a method to monitor immune cells, in brain and breast tumours of mice, without the use of invasive cancer biopsies.

A study by Ludwig Cancer Research, Switzerland, has developed a way to track macrophages in the body of mice with brain and breast tumours, by injecting the animals with nanoparticles.

Macrophages are a type of immune cell that are used by tumours to help them grow and resist treatment, and the team found that the microscopic nanoparticles can be detected in these macrophages, using an MRI scan.

This allowed researchers to monitor these immune cells in brain tumours without the need for cancer biopsies – an invasive medical test where a section of cancer tissue is removed from the patient for examination.

Professor Johanna Joyce, who led the study, said: “The imaging approaches developed in this study could, with further development, help clinicians non-invasively identify brain tumour types, better monitor prognosis and drug resistance and thus improve the therapeutic management of brain tumours.”

International Brain Tumour Awareness Week is running until this Saturday.



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