Researchers have shown promising results for accurately detecting breast cancer in animals using pill based on molecular imaging technology. It is a safe and non-invasive method.
The pill is made up of a targeting molecule which binds to proteins (Integrins) on the surface of breast cancer cell and dye with sulfate group; which increases the solubility of near-infrared florescent dyes. Pill makes cancerous cells light up on exposure to near-infrared light. No radiation exposure is involved in the procedure.
Currently for breast cancer screening mammography is most commonly used method but its sensitivity is low in women with dense breast tissue. Such issue is not encountered during screening with molecularly targeted agent with fluorescence. It can also be used to differentiate highly cancerous disease from non cancerous breast diseases.