Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have been awarded a five-year, $1.87 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate a novel method for tracking the progress of liver cancer treatment. Led by Professor T. Douglas Mast of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the research team will be using 3-D echo decorrelation imaging to track in real time the treatment of liver cancer by thermal ablation.
(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Thermal ablation is a process by which a cancerous tumor is heated via electromagnetic energy; as Mast put it in a recent press release: “It essentially cooks the tumor.” This technique has proven difficult to track in real time; however, Mast and his fellow researchers are optimistic that 3-D echo decorrelation imaging might provide a solution. Using ultrasound image data (also called echo correlation), Mast and his team have successfully modeled thermal ablation of liver cancer in rabbits. As Mast described in the aforementioned press release: “We showed that echo decorrelation gives you a reasonably good prediction of where the tissue is successfully treated and where it is not.” The new five-year grant from the NIH will allow them to continue their research with a goal of developing 3D echo decorrelation techniques.
Groundbreaking and potentially lifesaving studies of this kind would not be possible without the tremendous amount of science and research funding received by the University of Cincinnati. In 2017, Cincinnati received over $193 million in research awards, with a substantial portion coming from federal funding sources. The university has long been a pioneer for research on heart disease, birth defects, organ transplant, and cancer.
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