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Scherer, Kai; Yaroshenko, Andre; Böluekbas, Deniz Ali; Gromann, Lukas B.; Hellbach, Katharina; Meinel, Felix G.; Braunagel, Margarita; Berg, Jens von; Eickelberg, Oliver; Reiser, Maximilian F.; Pfeiffer, Franz; Meiners, Silke and Herzen, Julia (2017): X-ray Dark-field Radiography - In -Vivo Diagnosis of Lung Cancer in Mice. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, 402 [PDF, 2MB]


Accounting for about 1.5 million deaths annually, lung cancer is the prevailing cause of cancer deaths worldwide, mostly associated with long-term smoking effects. Numerous small-animal studies are performed currently in order to better understand the pathogenesis of the disease and to develop treatment strategies. Within this letter, we propose to exploit X-ray dark-field imaging as a novel diagnostic tool for the detection of lung cancer on projection radiographs. Here, we demonstrate in living mice bearing lung tumors, that X-ray dark-field radiography provides significantly improved lung tumor detection rates without increasing the number of false-positives, especially in the case of small and superimposed nodules, when compared to conventional absorption-based imaging. While this method still needs to be adapted to larger mammals and finally humans, the technique presented here can already serve as a valuable tool in evaluating novel lung cancer therapies, tested in mice and other small animal models.

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