A new test for cancer is likely to change how people learn they have the disease as it offers a safer and simpler way to detect it.
Called the "glucose chemical exchange saturation transfer," or the "sugar cancer test," it involves consuming glucose and allowing an MRI machine to scan the body.
With an MRI that is sensitive to glucose, tumors would be detected as researchers believe tumors need glucose to continue growing.
They have already conducted the test on mice, and the tumors in the mice lit up on the MRI.
Dr. Simon Walker-Samuel of the UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging said, "GlucoCEST uses radio waves to magnetically label glucose in the body. This can then be detected in tumors using conventional MRI techniques. The method uses an injection of normal sugar and could offer a cheap, safe alternative to existing methods for detecting tumors, which require the injection of radioactive material."
And those who don't like to consume sugar won't have much to worry about, as the test only needs patients to consume the same amount of sugar found in half a standard sized chocolate bar.
Because MRI machines are located in many large hospitals, it would be easier to test patients for cancer as they won't have to be sent to expensive specialists.
Researchers are conducting human trials to see if the test is as effective in humans as mice.