Clinical Biomarker Development
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.