A disease-detecting “precision health” toilet can sense multiple signs of illness through automated urine and stool analysis, a new Stanford study reports.
There’s a new disease-detecting technology in the lab of Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD PhD, and its No. 1 source of data is number one. And number two.
It’s a smart toilet. But not the kind that lifts its own lid in preparation for use; this toilet is fitted with technology that can detect a range of disease markers in stool and urine, including those of some cancers, such as colorectal or urologic cancers. The device could be particularly appealing to individuals who are genetically predisposed to certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, prostate cancer or kidney failure, and want to keep on top of their health… Continue reading.
Getting a close look at the prostate is critical for detecting cancer, but its rather intimate positioning (just in front of the rectum) makes it difficult to image.
Now, Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology, thinks he has a solution: a newly devised hybrid camera.
Traditionally, prostate cancer is detected via prostate cancer-associated blood biomarkers, such as prostate-specific antigen. Doctors often also use ultrasound or MRI to look for physical changes in prostate tissue. Newer techniques that harness positron emission tomography scans can even capture molecular detail, but those tactics are relatively more expensive and use radiation, Gambhir said… Continue reading.
A magnetic wire used to snag scarce and hard-to-capture tumor cells could prove to be a swift and effective tactic for early cancer detection, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The wire, which is threaded into a vein, attracts special magnetic nanoparticles engineered to glom onto tumor cells that may be roaming the bloodstream if you have a tumor somewhere in your body. With these tumor cells essentially magnetized, the wire can lure the cells out of the free-flowing bloodstream using the same force that holds family photos to your refrigerator.
The technique, which has only been used in pigs so far, attracts from 10-80 times more tumor cells than current blood-based cancer-detection methods, making it a potent tool to catch the disease earlier. The technique could even help doctors evaluate a patient’s response to particular cancer treatments: If the therapy is working, tumor-cell levels in the blood should rise as the cells die and break away from the tumor, and then fall as the tumor shrinks… Continue reading.
Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, known for his pioneering work in multimodality molecular imaging, was awarded the Benedict Cassen Prize during the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) in Philadelphia, Pa. This honor is awarded every two years by the Education and Research Foundation for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging in recognition of outstanding achievement and work leading to a major advance in nuclear medicine science.
“The Cassen Prize Committee selected Sanjiv (Sam) Gambhir as the 2018 recipient in recognition of his advanced work into the study and development of in vivo multimodality molecular imaging. His pursuit of expanding molecular assays to study the biology of diseases, especially cancer, using multiple imaging modalities and in vitro assays has advanced not only the nuclear medicine field but health care in general.” said ERF President Frances K. Keech, DHSc, RT(N), FSNMMI-TS… Continue reading.
By engineering a special molecule to track certain immune cells in the body, scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have invented a litmus test for the effectiveness of a newly devised cancer therapy.
The molecule is a radioactive tracer that latches onto immune cells when they’re activated — the status that immune cells, in particular T cells, assume when they’re poised to kill tumor cells.
“It’s not good enough to just image all T cells; you need to image activated T cells because those are the ones that are going to kill the tumor,” said Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology at Stanford. “The problem that occurs in other approaches, including ones we’ve previously developed, is that they’re sometimes not specific enough. I could image tumor patients who’ve yet to receive an immunotherapy; they’ll sometimes show T cells in their tumors, but those T cells aren’t always activated and killing tumor cells… Continue reading.
Doctors contemplating the best therapy for lung cancer patients may soon be able to predict the efficacy of a widely used lung cancer drug based on an imaging agent and a simple scan, according to the findings of a new clinical trial co-led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The researchers developed a PET scan-compatible imaging agent engineered to seek out a specific mutation found in nonsmall cell lung cancer (which accounts for about 80 percent of lung cancers), bind to it and emit a radioactive signal that flags its presence. In addition to exposing the molecular roots of tumors, the imaging agent reveals potential weak spots in the cancer where specific therapeutic drugs can be administered to counteract the pro-tumor mutation.
“Some people wonder, ‘Can’t you just prescribe the drug and wait to see if the tumor shrinks? If it shrinks, then you know it’s working,’” said Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology at Stanford… Continue reading.
Bacteria are experts at mutating to become resistant to any antibiotic treatment. With no promise of stagnation, it is no wonder that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called for medical scientists to develop new novel diagnostics to detect and help regulate the treatment of infections and infectious diseases.
A new study featured in the October issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine describes how Stanford University scientists developed a novel imaging agent that could be used to detect most bacterial infections and monitor antibiotic treatment.
“We really lack tools in the clinic to be able to visualize bacterial infections,” explained Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, and chair of the radiology department and director of Precision Health. “What we need is something that bacteria eat that your cells, so-called mammalian cells, do not. As it turns out, there is such an agent, and that agent is maltose, which is taken up only by bacteria because they have a transporter, called a maltodextrine transporter, on their cell wall that is able to take up maltose and small derivatives of maltose… Continue reading.
Stanford University medical scientists have developed a novel imaging agent that could be used to identify most bacterial infections. The study is the featured basic science article in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine’s October issue.
Bacteria are good at mutating to become resistant to antibiotics. As one way to combat the problem of antimicrobial resistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called for the development of novel diagnostics to detect and help manage the treatment of infectious diseases.
“We really lack tools in the clinic to be able to visualize bacterial infections,” explains Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, chair of the Radiology Department and director of Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics at Stanford University in California. “What we need is something that bacteria eat that your cells, so-called mammalian cells, do not. As it turns out, there is such an agent, and that agent is maltose, which is taken up only by bacteria because they have a transporter, called a maltodextrine transporter, on their cell wall that is able to take up maltose and small derivatives of maltose… Continue reading.
A speedboat cut across Lake Tahoe on a sunny day in October 2012. With two of his closest friends at his side, 14-year-old Milan Gambhir rode an inflated raft tethered to the back of the boat. The boys bounded over each wave, laughing as the water splashed back over them. “Half the fun was falling off into the cool water,” Milan’s friend Christopher “Kiki” Fann remembers. But the boat was going so fast that when Milan lost his grip on the raft’s handle, his head hit the water hard. “He just went flying,” Fann says. Instead of cushioning Milan’s landing, the water hit him like a wall.
“When he got back in the boat we were asking him questions, trying to tell if he was OK or not,” says Fann. “He had trou-ble with some of them, which was disconcerting, because a guy who was as smart and bright as he was suddenly couldn’t say the alphabet backwards.” Also on the boat was Fann’s mother, a physician, who determined that Milan had a slight concussion. She drove him to the local emergency room. There, doctors suggested a CT scan — a method of imaging that combines multiple X-rays to produce a single three-dimensional image of the inside of the body. She telephoned Milan’s parents at home in Portola Valley to get their permission for the scan… Continue reading.
Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology and director of the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection at Stanford, was elected for his work in multimodal molecular imaging of living subjects.
In his work, Gambhir, who has a particular interest in cancer biology and gene therapy, combines advances in molecular and cell biology with those in biomedical imaging. He holds the Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professorship in Cancer Research.