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Glucose in food could be used to detect cancer

Published on 08/07/2013

A new technique could be able to detect malignant tumours by assessing when sugar is absorbed in the body, following research from University college scientists.

Fizzy drinks and sweets have high levels of sugar

Malignant tumours have a greater reliance on sugar for energy production and scientists have now developed a possible method to detect these tumours.

The research was published in the journal Nature Medicine and has been experimented on mice with successful results. Trials were then done on humans who also showed signs of success and it is thought the process could be available within 18 months.

Healthy tissues do not require as much glucose to grow as malignant tumours have a higher rate of growth and to feed their growth they consume more sugar.

By modifying an MRI scanner to identify the glucose in the body, scientists from University College London saw that tumours emitted a bright glow during imagery after glucose had been consumed.

Current methods are longer and require radiation which is usually not suitable for children or pregnant women. Radiation scanning is not commonplace and is usually only available in large hospitals or specialist centres.

Professor Mark Lythgoe, senior author from UCL, said: “I certainly didn’t believe it as possible to fine tune an MRI scanner to pick up glucose movement even 18 months ago. But our research proves it can be done.

“It can be done after consuming a sweet drink, like a cola or a fruit juice, or food. We can detect cancer using the same sugar content found in half a standard sized chocolate bar.”

Private health insurance can give you access to the latest methods to cancer treatment and prevention. Look for a policy that has comprehensive cancer care.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

Categories:  Health InsuranceHealthMedical
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