Scan hope for cancer that killed Jobs

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Patients with the same form of cancer that Apple supremo Steve Jobs suffered from could benefit from a new form of scan aimed at seeing who would respond to specialist treatment.

Scientists have developed the scan which can be used to predict which patients with advanced neuroendocrine cancers – cancers arising from hormone-producing cells – would respond to targeted radiotherapy.

Jobs was diagnosed in 2003 as having a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour which spread to the liver leading to his death last October.

The work being carried out by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden Hospital is aimed at finding which patients with this form of cancer would benefit from peptide receptor targeted therapy – a type of radiotherapy which avoids damage to non-cancer cells.

In a paper published online today in the journal Radiology, Dr Dow-Mu Koh, Professor Martin Leach and Professor Val Lewington claim that dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE-) MRI can be used to monitor and predict response to this therapy.