The aims of the Advanced Imaging (Al) Program are: 1) To improve understanding of cancer biology and physiology, 2) To improve risk assessment and early detection of cancer;3) To use anatomic and functional imaging to evaluate response to therapy, design optimal therapies for each patient, and to use imaging lo control application of focal therapy (e.g., HIFU) in real time;and 4) To develop new approaches to image acquisition and analysis in support of Aims 1-3. Overall, the Al Program is developing predictive biomarkers, imaging strategies, and therapeutic approaches that enable physicians to deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. The Program fosters strong collaborations between imaging scientists, cancer biologists, and physician scientists to identify new opportunities to apply imaging technologies in both clinical and basic research arenas. The strength of these relationships is evidenced by multiple new grants that fund collaborations between the Al Program and other UCCCC Programs. The Al Program includes 28 members across a range of disciplines, from imaging physics to radiation physics, from Radiology to Radiation Oncology, Cardiology, and Gastroenterology. Research includes studies of animal models, tissues, cells, and materials, simulations, clinical tests of new diagnostic methods and preclinical and clinical use of imaging to guide drug development, tracer development, and image guided therapy. Total NIH funding in 2011 was $7.3 million (primarily from NIBIB with 11% from NCI) and $9.3 million in total funding. Al members published 247 peer reviewed papers over the last 5 years;30% were intra-programmatic and 19% were inter-programmatic. Al Program members have reorganized imaging-related Core Facilities to increase the integration of imaging research with other Cancer Center programs, and to improve access of members of other UCCCC Programs to imaging resources. For pre-clinical imaging, multimodality and molecular imaging have been enhanced by a new 'Integrated Small Animal Imaging Research Resource'that includes PET/SPECT/CT, MRI, Optical Imaging, and Ultrasound, as well as specialized veterinary support and image analysis. In addition, new resources are being developed to support clinical trials and translational research. The Human Imaging Research Office (HIRO) provides logistical support for clinical trials.
The Advanced Imaging Program is designed to move new ideas rapidly into clinical practice to provide benefits for patients. The Program is developing new approaches to cancer risk assessment, detection and diagnosis, and use of imaging to guide drug development. Imaging is an essential component of the UCCCCC's strategy to develop 'personalized medicine', providing tools that allow physicians to design optimal treatments for each patient, and modify treatment as needed to achieve the best possible outcome.
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