Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
05 March 2014 09:21
Previously, the only way to examine energy stores in such cancer cells was by surgically removing the tissue for analysis
A new scanning technique could be used to identify dormant cancer cells and help stop the disease coming back, according to researchers.
"Sleeper cells", which temporarily stop growing while they build up energy stores to be used at a later stage, often lead to the recurrence of cancer.
By sitting in a dormant state, the cells can evade treatment and so prove resistant to therapy, meaning some patients suffer a relapse.
Using a type of scan called positron emission tomography (Pet), scientists measured the build-up of sugary energy stores in the sleeper cells.
Previously, the only way to examine energy stores in such cancer cells was by surgically removing the tissue for analysis.
The new imaging method was used to search for dormant cancer cells in mice.
A radioactive label was attached to the sugar molecules in the cells so the scanner could track their take-up.
Lead researcher Professor Eric Aboagye said: "The ability of cancer cells to escape treatment by entering these dormant states has stymied progress for the treatment of numerous different cancers."
The Imperial College London scientist said the technique "has immediate potential in the clinic to assess how well drugs are working for patients, and to warn of potential relapses post-treatment".
The study, published in the journal Cancer Research, was funded by the charity Cancer Research UK.
Nell Barrie, from the charity, said: "This method shows real promise as a tool for telling doctors how much of the cancer could possibly be escaping treatment.
"At the moment this method has only been used in mice, but this sort of technique can be adapted for the clinic to help save more lives."
The research offers encouragement for cancer sufferers but
travel insurance for cancer patients is still a must to cover for all eventualities.
21 October 2016
A union is warning of travel chaos over the Christmas period at four major UK airports, unless a baggage carrier transfers staff to other companies.
20 October 2016
Thousands of passengers faced travel chaos yesterday after rail service through the Channel Tunnel was suspended because of a power failure.
19 October 2016
People planning holidays from Gatwick Airport in the run up to Christmas could face travel chaos as unions threaten to strike over a pension dispute.
18 October 2016
Eurostar has said it will cut 12 services from London St Pancras to Paris and Brussels.
15 October 2016
Tourists in Thailand are being advised to "behave respectfully" and wear "sombre" clothing as the country mourns King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
14 October 2016
Holidaymakers are being warned to buy currency in advance as exchange rates being offered are as little as 0.96 euro to the pound at airports.
13 October 2016
Scientists say there is strong evidence air pollution and vitamin D deficiency can cause dementia.
12 October 2016
More people are going on holiday than at any time in the past five years despite terror attacks and the impact of Brexit, according to a study.
11 October 2016
People from across North Carolina had to be rescued from their homes as the downgraded Hurricane Matthew blew out to sea - leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
04 October 2016
People travelling abroad is on the rise, according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)
08 October 2016
A hurricane pelting the coast of Florida and described as a 'monster' by a local official has brought chaos to the state, with flights cancelled, homes evacuated and theme parks shut.
07 October 2016
Low-cost airline easyJet says its profits will nosedive as terrorist attacks and air traffic control strikes are taking their toll on the company.