Brain Tumour: New Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technique
Uncovers Pathophysiological Process to Help Early Detection of Recurrent Glioblastoma
By: KLU Krems
Krems (Austria), 26th January 2021 – Lack of oxygen and specific changes in the microvascular architecture are previously undetected and very early indications of the return of a brain tumour following previous surgical intervention. This was the result of a study published by an Austrian and German team headed by Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences in Krems. The findings showed that initial signs of a recurrence of glioblastomas could be detected more than six months earlier than otherwise possible using standard clinical methods. Published in Clinical Cancer Research, the study was based on retrospective analysis of special MRI data from 56 patients.
Glioblastoma is a form of malignant brain tumour with diffuse infiltration into the adjacent brain tissue. This characteristic makes it particularly difficult to fully remove tumours, meaning that supplementary treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are also required. But even so, in the vast majority of cases the tumours return within a short space of time. Diagnosing recurrence at a very early stage is difficult, but crucial given the decisive role it plays in determining the patient's life expectancy. A newly published study from Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences in Krems (KL Krems) has delivered some surprising insights that could potentially pave the way for earlier diagnosis and personalised therapy.
190 Days Earlier: novel evidence of a recurring tumour
The team led by Prof. Andreas Stadlbauer, a researcher from the Institute of Medical Radiology at St. Pölten University Hospital (KL Krems), were able to detect very early and clear indications of recurrence of the tumour. "We were able to identify a change in the vascular architecture where the brain tumour would eventually recur fully 190-days before a conventional MRI diagnosis could be made," he explained, outlining the key finding of the study. From a technical perspective, this was made possible by measuring biomarkers for certain physiological values in the brain tissue using MRI. As Prof. Stadlbauer noted: "We looked at earlier MRI scans from patients who we knew had had a recurrence of the glioblastoma later on. In the areas of the brain where this was observed, we noticed changes in the physiological biomarkers over a period of a year before the tumour recurred and were able to identify characteristic patterns."
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