LA BioMed medical/research briefs – March 2005
Researchers Use Breast Imaging System to Detect Cancers Missed by Mammography
Iraj Khalkhali, MD, a principal investigator at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) and a resident physician in the Department of Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, is part of an international group of researchers studying the use of a breast imaging camera, which appears to detect breast cancers missed by standard mammography.
Approximately 25 to 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue, which decreases the chance that a cancer will be visible on their mammograms. With molecular breast imaging, the visibility of the tumor is not influenced by the density of the surrounding tissue. This technique is well suited to find cancers in women whose mammograms may not be very accurate. Experts have long recognized that screening for breast cancer with mammograms may not be sufficient in some groups of women, particularly women at increased risk for breast cancer, many of whom also have dense breast tissue.
Researchers in Italy, Pennsylvania and the Mayo Clinic have detected previously unknown cancers in patients who had dense breasts and in whom both clinical examinations and mammography reported normal results. "We believe our results show that the routine clinical use of high-resolution, dedicated breast cameras can be a powerful diagnostic tool for early breast cancer identification," Dr. Khalkhali said.
The breast imaging camera used in the study is provided by Gamma Medica, Inc. of Northridge, California. For more information on how to participate in this clinical trial in the Los Angeles area, contact [email protected] or call 1-877-788-3908 x 104. For members of the media who wish to talk to Dr. Khalkhali, please contact Dave Feuerherd at [email protected]. To obtain technical information on the breast imaging camera, please contact Patrick Moody at [email protected].
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome has Liver Risk
According to new research by a group of Southern California researchers, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at increased risk for developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). PCOS is a hormone imbalance manifested by insulin resistance that interferes with normal ovulation and fertility. The team's results were published in the February issue of Fertility and Sterility and is the first paper to show the association between PCOS and NAFLD.
The research findings are important because many ob/gyn physicians are not aware that NAFLD can be a problem for these patients. As a result, they do not screen for the disease and may treat PCOS patients with medications that can potentially cause toxicity to the liver if they have NAFLD.
The researchers noted that NAFLD represents a spectrum of liver diseases that can be mild in many patients but is also recognized as an important cause of cirrhosis, liver transplantation, and liver cancer. They recommended that patients with PCOS be evaluated for liver disease and those with elevated ALT avoid alcohol and acetaminophen. Liver disease is often silent and often isn't discovered until it reaches advanced levels.
The impetus for the study began with two observations: liver specialists have seen a large increase of fatty liver disease, which has been linked to insulin resistance; PCOS has also been linked to insulin resistance. The study noted that PCOS is the most common form of non-ovulating infertility and females are at a higher risk than men for the extreme manifestations of fatty liver disease such as cirrhosis and liver carcinoma.
Omid Khorran M.D., Ph.D. a principal investigator at LA BioMed and Director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, was part of the research group who conducted the study. To speak with Dr. Khorran, contact David Feuerherd at 310-215-0234 or [email protected].
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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