The April 27th edition of Forbes Magazine (Health Day News) describes a new imaging technique that is currently being studied at the University of Michigan. The original study was published in the April 15 issue of Cancer Research.

This technology measures the diffusion of water through tumors. As tumor cells die, the diffusion of water through the tumor increases. By monitoring the changes in the rate of diffusion, doctors will be able evaluate if a treatment is having the desired effect on a tumor.

The technique, called a functional diffusion map, is noninvasive. It utilizes an MRI scan which is then evaluated using new software that has been developed by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Currently, we don’t have any way to detect bone tumor response to therapy. This imaging technique would allow doctors to consider alternative treatments on a timelier basis.

Joel T. Nowak, MA, MSW