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Integrating Quantitative Imaging Methods and Genomics Biomarkers to Assess the Therapeutic Response of Cancers

  • Project Leaders: Francois Benard
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $1928974
  • Program/Competition: Partner Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2014
  • Status: Active

In clinical trials involving new anti-cancer drugs, it is important to accurately monitor tumour size and activity by using imaging methods such as computed tomography (CT), which looks at the appearance of organs, and positron emission tomography (PET), which measures the function of tumors by their accumulation of radioactive drugs called radiotracers. Another approach involves the detection of abnormal genes that are shed in the blood by tumours, by looking for mutations that are specific to a patient’s cancer. This project will develop improved methods to measure the volume of tumors and accurately measure their accumulation of PET radiotracers, and relate the total viable tumor mass to the amount of tumour DNA present in the blood. The team will also seek to correlate the presence of specific mutations and the lack of early response by PET/CT imaging, to see if the data from both approaches can improve the ability to identify which patients are unlikely to benefit from a particular treatment.