False colour image of a breast tumour (outlined) pre- and post-treatment with a PI3Ka inhibitor. Weaker colours post-treatment indicate that the drug is working. Credit: Brindle Lab, University of Cambridge

Imaging techniques could replace the need for invasive tissue biopsies in helping rapidly determine whether cancer treatments are working effectively, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge.

In a study published in the journal Cancer Cell, researchers at the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Cambridge Institute have shown how a new technique known as hyperpolarisation—which involves effectively magnetizing molecules in a strong magnetic field—can be used to monitor how