In Vivo Imaging Facility (IVIF) Early detection of tumors, metastases and pre-metastatic cell types is critical for improved survival and cures in cancer patients. In addition, there is a vital need for development and application of quantitative methods that can detect, and even predict, the response of tumors to therapy with high sensitivity and accuracy. The NCI has long recognized the potential of advanced imaging as an approach for using minimally invasive biomarkers to measure tumor pathophysiology and to monitor the effect of targeted cancer therapies as an approach to measuring therapeutic efficacy. Adding to its potential for guiding patient therapeutic management is that fact that advanced imaging can be repeated throughout a course of therapy to provide frequent monitoring of response. Molecular imaging is ideally suited for both early detection and measuring early therapy response by quantifying cellular metabolism, proliferation, and apoptosis, and other processes altered early in treatment. To achieve high levels of accuracy and effectiveness validation of advanced imaging techniques, specific for relevant cellular processes, are required, that can detect and measure the efficacy of novel anticancer therapies and measure early tumoricidal response. New PET tracers and optical and MR methodologies to sensitively and specifically quantify drug-cancer cell interaction are being developed and the IVIF provides a shared resource for testing these tracers in rodent models of cancer, and validating promising assays in humans through well-crafted quantitative imaging trials. The goal of the In Vivo Imaging Facility (IVIF) is to provide pre-clinical and clinical imaging services to UPCI investigators to assist in visualizing mechanisms of biomarker action, provide approaches for early disease detection and monitor therapeutic efficacy.
The specific aims of IVIF are to: 1)Assess biomarker expression throughout cancer treatment using a single modality or a combination of modalities, both clinically and pre-clinically; 2)Develop methods for monitoring therapeutic efficacy in humans as well as in rodent models of cancer; 3) Develop novel radiotracer and contrast agents for pre-clinical oncological imaging that is eventually translatable to humans; 4) Develop human protocols for cancer detection, diagnosis, and staging, and 5) Develop advanced methods for evaluating early therapy response following treatment. Key services include PET radiotracer development and production for human PET-CT and PET-MRI or pre-clinical PET-CT and clinical or preclinical assessment of biomarker expression during cancer treatment and develops methods for monitoring biological therapy and for evaluating prognosis following surgery. During the current project period investigators from all 10 Research Programs used IVIF.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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University of Pittsburgh
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