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Buzug © Uni Lübeck

German High Tech Champion Award for Cancer Researcher from the Hamburg Metropolitan Region

Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) allows gentler treatments of breast cancer. Philips Medical Research in Hamburg and UKE Hamburg closely co-operate in MPI research with Lübeck.

Endowed with 10,000 euro, the award will be handed to Buzug at the 100th annual congress of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), held 30 November to 5 December in Chicago. The German High Tech Champion was launched to support technology developers and inventors at German universities and non-university research institutions, and their success in international contract research.

Pioneer of Magnetic Particle Imaging

Prof Thorsten Buzug is one of the pioneers of Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI). This innovative quantitative imaging method uses the nonlinear re-magnetisation behavior of dedicated super paramagnetic (SPIO) nanoparticles to determine their local concentration by use of magnetic fields. The MPI measurement is inherently quantitative; its signal therefore is a direct measure of how much SPIO material is present at a certain location. MPI is completely free of ionising radiation and of radioactive substances.The technology used by Prof Buzug and fellow scientists ofa the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf was invented at Philips Medical Research in Hamburg.

Gentler treatments of breast cancer

Breast cancer is the second most deadly cancer among women. With MPI, new – and more gentle treatments are made possible. One strategy to fight it is the so-called sentinel lymph node biopsy. Malignant tumors frequently spread their cancer cells via the lymphatics system. The cells are then stored in the lymph nodes, from where they spread into the body, allow metastases to travel far from the primary tumor. In past years, all lymph nodes in the vicinity of the tumor were thus radically removed and examined histologically. With the MPI-based sentinel lymph node biopsy, which is currently being developed at the Institute of Medical Technology, only the lymph nodes identified as being attacked by cancer with have to be removed, as the new magnetic particle imaging allows the surgeon to localise the sentinel lymph node during surgery.

GHTC® – the German High Tech Champions Award is powered by Fraunhofer, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organisation, and supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The Award in “Medical Imaging” is the seventh in a series of GHTC® competitions and Awards carried out since 2011, and is returning to RSNA for the second time.

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