Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. Collaborates with UT Southwestern to Combat Prostate Cancer

May 22, 2019 | Cancer, Imaging Tools, Oncology, Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are now working to improve imaging methods to make medicine more precise and personalized. The NIH funded program represents a critical component of a new interdisciplinary approach to improve radiation therapy for high risk prostate cancer patients.

The main premise: to advance precision medicine to attack prostate cancer we must be able to see better reports Pingkun Yan, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Rensselaer.

Rensselaer Teams up with UT Southwestern for Prostate Cancer Study

Professor Yan teams up with University of Texas Southwestern researchers who are currently conducting a clinical trial using an approach known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), which delivers high doses of radiation directly to the tumor.

Developing Superior Ways to See the Tumor

The key is to delivery high doses of radiation in a localized and precise way so as to protect other healthy tissue nearby.  However, the prostate can move and deform during delivery which represents a challenge for SBRT.  Professor Yan and the Rensselaer team seek to support the trial by developing an imaging method to help researchers distinguish between the healthy tissue and the tumor, so they can more accurately administer the radiation doses.

Yan will integrate SBRT with a temporal enhanced ultrasound method (TeUS) that he previously developed through a collaboration with the University of British Columbia, Queens University and NIH. TeUS combines a series of ultrasound images, over time, so that researchers and doctors can visually separate the tumor from the healthy organ.

Lead Research/Investigators

Pingkun Yan, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 

Jing Wang, associate professor radiation, University of Texas, Southwestern 


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