Home pagePress monitoringRadioactive fruit sugar lights up cancer and inflammation

Radioactive fruit sugar lights up cancer and inflammation

Date: 26.2.2024 

A radioactive form of fructose, a natural sugar found in fruit, given to mice lit up areas of cancer and inflammation on a diagnostic medical scan. The researchers say the approach makes diseases easier to spot than current techniques and opens the door to new avenues of early detection.

Kredit: Kirby et al. (2024), Journal of Nuclear Medicine.A positron emission tomography or PET scan often relies on injecting a small amount of radioactive glucose, called a tracer, into the bloodstream. The scanner creates a picture based on where the glucose is used in the body. Since many cancers use glucose to fuel metabolism, it accumulates there, lighting the cancer up.

However, not all cancers use glucose for fuel, and healthy organs like the brain and heart can use it for energy, obscuring diseased areas on a PET scan.

So, researchers from the University of Ottawa (uOttawa), Canada, developed a new radioactive tracer that instead maps how the cells use fructose, a type of sugar increasingly implicated in disease.

“For the first time, we can see where fructose, a common dietary sugar, is used in the body,” said Adam Shuhendler, corresponding author of the study. “Outside of the kidneys and the liver, fructose metabolism in any other organs may point to a sinister problem including cancer and inflammation.”

Image source: Kirby et al. (2024), Journal of Nuclear Medicine.





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