Research Programs



Program Activities and Selected Scientific Reports

The Cancer Imaging and Radiobiology Research Program is involved in:

  • Full membership meetings
    • Monthly: seminar (internal and external)
    • Strategic planning, targets of opportunity
  • Focus group meetings
    • Weekly: EPR, breast, PDT, MI
  • Advisory group meetings
    • Annual: EPR, breast
  • Center-wide activities
    • Cancer Center grand rounds, symposia
2013 Selected Scientific Progress & Achievements

Magnetic spectroscopy of nanoparticle Brownian motion, MSB, is a novel, non-invasive sensing technique pioneered by CIR member Weaver, that provides measurements of the number of magnetic nanoparticles (mNPs) present (Weaver, Nanotechnology, 2013).

MSB offers information on the quantitative concentration of selected molecules [X. Zhang, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2013).

While the up-regulation of cell surface receptors has become a central focus in personalized cancer treatment, quantitative imaging of these molecular interactions in tumors remains one of the unfulfilled promises of molecular imaging, largely due to the confounding nature of tracer pharmacokinetics in tissue. Receptor concentration imaging (RCI) is a seminal development in molecular imaging and has opened entirely new avenues of research, including preclinical imaging (Tichauer, Journal of Biomedical Optic, 2013), and a study recently published in PNAS describing noninvasive receptor concentration tomography in murine glioma models (Davis, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2013).

The multi-disciplinary team led by CIR member David Roberts, MD, currently has the largest experience with PpIX fluorescence during brain tumor surgery in North America, and has enrolled over 100 patients in their investigator-sponsored IND studies. These investigators have realized hyperspectral, wide-field imaging concepts that are able to quantitatively image PpIX fluorescence corresponding to residual tumor at the end of resection when the surgical field exhibits negative visual fluorescence (Valdes, Optics Letters, 2013). A novel pulsed-light imaging system which achieves fluorescence detection with the OR room lights turned-on has been developed in collaboration with Dr. Pogue’s team ( Sexton, Optics Letters, 2013).

CIR members Drs. Halter and Hartov, in collaboration with NCCC members Heaney, Seigne and Schned, have expanded their work to include studies of electrical impedance data collected in vivo during prostate cancer surgeries using an innovative electrode array attached to a transrectal ultrasound scanhead for tissue imaging during the resection procedure. The ultrasound system provided anatomic information, which guided image reconstruction, and the electrical impedance image data were correlated with pathological findings in 50 men prior to undergoing radical prostatectomy. An average transformation error of 1.67% was found when 381 spatially coregistered pathological images were compared with their target electrical impedance images. At signal frequencies of 0.4, 3.2, and 25.6 kHz, paired-testing demonstrated that the image conductivity of cancerous regions was significantly greater than that of benign regions (p < 0.0304), confirming previous exvivo probe measurements (Wan, Med Phys, 2013).

2012 Selected Scientific Accomplishments
  • Established a framework for carrying out comparative effectiveness for diagnostic methods to triage subjects when a large population is exposed to potentially lethal exposures of ionizing radiation (Flood et. al. 2011).
    • Flood AB, Nicolalde RJ, Demidenko E, Williams BB, Shapiro A, Wiley AL Jr, Swartz HM (2011). A framework for comparative evaluation of dosimetric methods to triage a large population following a radiological event. Radiat Meas 46(9):916-922. PMC3178340
  • Demonstrated in a preclinical model that implantable resonators could be used to measure oxygen in tumors during growth and hyperoxygenation treatments, advancing the feasibility of using this potentially powerful technique to improve clinical radiation therapy (Hou et. al. 2012).
    • Hou H, Dong R, Li H, Williams B, Lariviere JP, Hekmatyar SK, Kauppinen RA, Khan N, Swartz H (2012). Dynamic changes in oxygenation of intracranial tumor and contralateral brain during tumor growth and carbogen breathing: A multisite EPR oximetry with implantable resonators. J Magn Reson 214(1):22-28.
  • Described tumor bed dynamics after surgical resection of brain metastases and their implications for postoperative radiosurgery (Jarvis et. al. 2012).
    • Jarvis LA, Simmons NE, Bellerive M, Erkmen K, Eskey CJ, Gladstone DJ, Hug EB, Roberts DW, Hartford AC (2012, In press). Tumor bed dynamics after surgical resection of brain metastases: Implications for postoperative radiosurgery. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
  • Demonstrated that ionizing radiation increases systemic nanoparticle accumulation in tumors (Giustiniet. al. 2012).
    • Giustini AJ, Petryk AA, Hoopes PJ (2012). Ionizing radiation increases systemic nanoparticle tumor accumulation. Nanomedicine 8(6):818-821. PMC3404191 [Available on 2013/8/1]
  • Reported high vascular delivery of EGF, but low receptor-binding rates. in AsPC-1 tumors relative to normal pancreas (Samkoe et. al. 2012).
    • Samkoe KS, Sexton K, Tichauer KM, Hextrum SK, Pardesi O, Davis SC, O'Hara JA, Hoopes PJ, Hasan T, Pogue BW (2012). High vascular delivery of EGF, but low receptor binding rate is observed in AsPC-1 tumors as compared to normal pancreas. Mol Imaging Biol 14(4):472-479.
  • Quantified in vivo receptor binding potential in tumor of a targeted contrast agent using a dual reporter approach (Tichauer et. al. 2012).
    • Tichauer KM, Samkoe KS, Sexton KJ, Gunn JR, Hasan T, Pogue BW (2012). Improved tumor contrast achieved by single time point dual‐reporter fluorescence imaging. J Biomed Opt 17(6):066001. PMC3381038 [Available on 2013/6/5]