Cancer Research Month: Advanced Imaging, and Cancer Prevention and Control

In honor of National Cancer Research Month, the American Association for Cancer Research put together this video highlighting the challenges and the possibilities of cancer research.

The research conducted by the faculty at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center is organized into six independent, but interactive, Scientific Programs that represent the breadth of our expertise and specific areas of focus.

The final two programs we will feature in this month-long series during National Cancer Research Month reflect our commitment to innovation – from new methods of imaging tumors for diagnosis and treatment to novel approaches to cancer prevention.

Through the breadth and depth of expertise of these investigators, the University of Chicago is leading the way in developing cutting-edge imaging technologies and approaching cancer control from all perspectives.

Last week, we featured the Immunology and Cancer Program and the Pharmacogenomics and Experimental Therapeutics Program.

And the series began with a look at Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Program and Hematopoiesis and Hematological Malignancies Program.


Leaders: Gregory Karczmar, PhD, professor of radiology; Herb MacMahon, MB, ChB, professor of radiology.

Imaging plays a key role in the Comprehensive Cancer Center’s efforts to develop personalized medicine, through the use of non-invasive methods to assess individual risk, detect early cancer, guide treatment delivery, assess therapeutic response, and evaluate and prevent adverse health outcomes.

The program fosters strong collaborations between imaging scientists, cancer biologists, and physician scientists to apply imaging technologies in both clinical and basic research arenas.

The program has 30 members from a wide range of disciplines, including members from the Departments of Medicine, Radiology, Radiation and Cellular Oncology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Surgery.

Their activities include: studies of animal models, tissues, and materials; clinical tests of new diagnostic methods; preclinical and clinical use of imaging to guide drug development; development and testing of new targeted imaging and theranostic probes; and development and testing of image-guided therapy.

The imaging resources they use include X-ray, ultrasound, magnetic resonance, molecular imaging, physiological modeling, and quantitative image analysis.

This work done under this program advances the understanding of cancer biology and physiology, improves risk assessment and early detection, helps guide therapy, and implements novel technologies for image reconstruction and analysis.


Leader: Habibul Ahsan, MBBS, MMedSc, Louis Block Professor of Health Studies, and Andrea King, PhD, professor of psychiatry

This purpose of this program is to determine the genetic, psychological, behavioral, and socio-environmental basis of cancer, and interactions among these factors. It consists of 46 members from 11 departments and two University Divisions (Biological Sciences and Social Sciences) who focus their research on high-risk individuals defined by these factors, as well as health outcomes, survivorship, and economics.

Members emphasize cancer control and molecular epidemiology research and aim to translate and disseminate their efforts to the community.

The program is committed to improving the health of the adjacent South Side Chicago neighborhoods by focusing the “intellectual capacity” of the University of Chicago to boost access to education, clinical services and research with a goal to improving outcomes and reducing health care and cancer disparities within the community.

The scientific aims of this program are to 1) uncover the genetic and environmental basis of progression for common cancers and translate this knowledge into clinical and public health practices; 2) develop relevant models for chemoprevention studies and develop biomarkers for early detection of cancer; and 3) identify genetic, environmental, physiological, and bio-behavioral bases of cancer risk and prevention.

About Kathleen Goss (30 Articles)
Kathleen Goss, PhD, is the Director for Strategic Partnerships and senior science writer at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.
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