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Editor's e-Note
Ultrasound is a highly versatile imaging modality, and advances in the technology are increasing its range of uses. In this month’s newsletter, we’re featuring shear wave elastography’s potential for enhancing brain tumor surgery. Due to the stiffness of tumors, relative to normal brain tissue, SWE may help surgeons remove more tumor the first time, potentially reducing relapses. See below for more detail.

How is ultrasound used at your facility? Let us know on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Stay safe.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
SWE May Help Guide Brain Surgery

Shear wave elastography (SWE) can detect cancer tissue left behind—more sensitively than surgeons—after a brain tumor is removed and could improve the outcomes from operations, a new study suggests. SWE could be used during brain surgery to detect residual cancerous tissue, allowing surgeons to remove as much as possible. The scan measures tissues’ stiffness and stretchiness. Vibrations or “shear waves” are created and detected as they move through tissue, moving faster through stiffer tissue. Researchers believe that SWE, which is much faster to carry out and more affordable than “gold-standard” MRI scans, has the potential to reduce a patient’s risk of relapse by reducing the chances that a tumor will grow back.

“Imaging plays a crucial role in many aspects of cancer treatment, in providing valuable information about tumors and ensuring doctors don’t have to make decisions blind,” says Kevin Harrington, PhD, a professor and the head of the division of radiotherapy and imaging at The Institute of Cancer Research. “This new study has shown for the first time that a particular type of ultrasound scan could provide real-time guidance to brain surgeons during operations as they choose which tissue to remove. It’s an exciting area of research which has the potential to improve outcomes for patients by ensuring surgeons take out the entire tumor while minimizing damage to the healthy brain.”

A multi-institutional team led by The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, compared three different techniques to detect tumor tissue during surgery—SWE scans, standard 2D ultrasound, and a surgeon’s opinion—in 26 patients. The research was conducted in collaboration with clinicians from The Royal London Hospital and University Hospital Southampton. The researchers performed SWE scans and 2D ultrasounds during the operation—before, during, and after tumor removal. They also asked surgeons to identify potentially cancerous tissue before providing them with scan findings. The team then compared all techniques with gold-standard MRI scans after surgery.

Full story »
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In This e-Newsletter
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New Collaborative Poised to Restore Ancient Writings
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AI-Based Mapping System Promises Faster, Safer Mining
Researchers at Australia’s University of Queensland announce an AI-guided mapping technique that utilizes hyperspectral imaging to scan and classify materials for mineral content. Real-time mapping, they say, will allow the mining process to be planned out before digging, increasing efficiency and possibly saving lives.

Doppler Imaging Speeds Infection Diagnosis
Perdue University researchers announce that Doppler imaging is an effective way to analyze cells, enabling them to track metabolic activity in real time. Their study, published in Communications Biology, shows how microbes could be classified more quickly than using cell cultures, possibly cutting crucial time needed to save lives.

Laser Speckle Analysis Interprets Coronary Data
In a study published in Biomedical Optics Express, researchers describe a method to detect coronary plaques that are likely to lead to a heart attack. Intravascular laser speckle imaging utilizes a catheter with an optical fiber that delivers light to the coronary artery wall, in concert with a lens to reflect telltale speckle patterns onto a monitor.
Worth Repeating
“Metastasis is a huge problem nobody's tackled very well. People don't know how to inhibit the process of metastasis, nor how to inhibit the growth of metastatic cells at secondary sites. And that's what kills most cancer patients.”

Heide Ford, PhD, of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, whose new collaborative research describes a method to interpret “crosstalk” among tissue cells
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