UCSF RadiologyProfessor John Kurhanewicz, Ph.D. is heading research at UCSF on an imaging test that utilizes a new approach. First, C-13 Pyruvate is cooled to very low temperatures. It is mixed with magnetic parts and then the mixture is injected back into the patient before the scan. Pyruvate is a naturally occurring compound, used by cells to create energy.
Cancer cells will pick up the Pyruvate. The MRI is able to focus in on the Pyruvate as the cancer cells metabolize it. The scan pinpoints the concentration of Pyruvate in the cancerous area. When this is done, the location and the aggressiveness of the tumor are demonstrated very quickly.
Here is a Channel 7 News Report from San Francisco, describing the new imaging study.