The Vanderbilt In Vivo Imaging Center (VIVID) will focus on a new optical and X-ray imaging modalities that have not yet been applied to cancer surveillance and management. Recent findings showing efficacy of anti-angiogenic approaches for cancer therapy emphasize the need for imaging modalities capable of evaluating tumor vascularity. Advances in laser scanning microscopy and fiber optics now permit true in vivo imaging, with resolution on the order of 100 nm. While application of optical methods may be minimally invasive, depending upon tissue sites, such procedures will deliver unprecedented speed and clarity. Furthermore, development of monochromatic X-ray imaging will provide resolutions below 30 nm. Development projects will be focused around the role of angiogenesis in tumor development and metastasis. The convergence of Vanderbilt expertise in imaging methodologies with interest of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators provides a unique opportunity. Ability to image molecules, such as VEGF, MMP's and COX-2, in tumors at diagnosis will permit rational design of therapies tailored to the individual tumor and patient. Organizationally, core labs will be funded through direct collaborations with individual development projects, to maintain the focus on cancer diagnosis and treatment. Five core labs will be established based around existing facilities: 1) a mouse model core that will provide established mouse cancer models, as well as GFP transgenic and knock-in mice, 2) an in vitro imaging core that will support spectroscopy and microscopy, 3) an in vivo optical imaging core, that will use fiber-optic based and direct illumination modalities, 4) a monochromatic x-ray imaging core for in vivo morphological and molecular imaging, and finally 5) an MRI/Ultrasound/CT core that will be used to compare new methods with these accepted gold standards of in vivo imaging. These technologies span the range from cuvette to human subject. Collaborations between projects and cores promise to validate current hypotheses about tumor vascularization, and to rapidly apply these finding to clinical cancer diagnosis and therapy.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-SRRB-3 (J2))
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Menkens, Anne E
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Schools of Medicine
United States
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