Chemical sensitivity

Intrusive biopsies for people with cancer could be sidestepped thanks to the development of a new class of fluorine-containing contrast agents by David Parker and colleagues at Durham University. The lack of fluorine chemistry in the human body means these compounds will show up with high contrast in magnetic resonance imaging to reveal a detailed view of acidic regions, such as those containing cancer cells. These agents should allow faster acquisition of 19F magnetic resonance data, say the researchers, as well as amplifying chemical shift non-equivalence. This will allow detailed magnetic resonance information to be obtained quickly and at a dosage well below the safety threshold.