The candidate, who is a internist and nuclear medicine physician with a background in engineering and mathematics has the opportunity to conduct research with internationally known scientist in the field of positron emission tomograph (PET). In addition, the PET research environment located at UCLA, has a strong cooperation with the other basic science research and clinical services allowing a network of intellectual resources. The proposals of this grant are to utilize the unique capabilities of PET to measure biochemical reactions in vivo and to allow kinetic analysis of the reactions. The capabilities of such an imaging technology will be especially useful in measuring local or interval changes in tissue metabolism providing researchers and clinician with a powerful noninvasive tool for the detection or for the monitoring of a disease condition such as cancer. In addition, the recently developed capability of imaging the entire body with PET, provides a new method for surveying the whole body for metastatic disease. The goals of this grant are: First, to further develop tracer kinetic models and imaging protocols to quantify [F-18]2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) for characterizing breast carcinoma glucose utilization in the limited axial field of view acquisitions in transaxial PET imaging. There will be an evaluation of Patlak graphical analysis and nonlinear regression estimates of tumor net phosphorylation and potential utility of parametric imaging of glucose metabolism of breast carcinomas. Prognosis based on lymph node status, HER-2/neu oncogene expression, DNA flow cytometry will be compared to quantitative FDG studies. Second, to evaluate the clinical utility of qualitative whole body PET FDG imaging in patients with breast carcinoma for primary and recurrent lesion detectability, and in the detection of metastatic disease. The sensitivity of whole body PET FDG for detecting primary and metastatic breast carcinoma lesions will be evaluated.
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