Clinical Biomarker Development

 Simulations of the magnetic field shifts around a contrast agent bearing blood vessel [ Link to paper ].

Simulations of the magnetic field shifts around a contrast agent bearing blood vessel [Link to paper].

If available, non-invasive biomarkers of the hallmarks of cancer (e.g. angiogenesis, hypoxia etc.) could greatly improve clinical decision making, patients’ prognosis and their quality of life. However, the development of non-invasive biomarkers requires a detailed understanding of the complex interplay between cancer biology and the physics of image formation. Therefore, we have developed computational tools for relating MR image contrast to changes in the tumor microenvironment (Pathak et al. 2008).

 

We have developed imaging biomarkers of angiogenesis (Kim et al. 2013), extracellular matrix integrity (Pathak et al. 2005), and necrosis in preclinical models of breast and brain cancer (Kim et al. 2013). While some of these biomarkers have been adopted in the clinic (Schmainda et al. 2004), the translational potential of others is being evaluated. Currently, we are exploring the use of MRI for the early detection of antiangiogenic drug resistance in brain and breast cancer.

 3D rendering of MRI-derived map of regions within the tumor extracellular matrix in which a macromolecular contrast agent is either draining or pooling [ Link to paper ].

3D rendering of MRI-derived map of regions within the tumor extracellular matrix in which a macromolecular contrast agent is either draining or pooling [Link to paper].