The potential of combining molecular imaging(tissue (nm) to whole body (mm) resolution) and genomics to assess the effects of targeted therapies in cancer and its microenvironment

May 31, 2013 (Fri) | 2:30 PM -3:30 PM
Clark Center, 318 Campus Drive, Room S-360 : Stanford, CA

Recent advances in cancer treatment centre around development of targeted therapies and personalisation of treatment regimes to individual tumour characterisitics. However, clinical outcomes have not improved as expected. Further development of the use of molecular imaging to predict or assess treatment response in clinic must address spatial heterogeneity of cancer within the body. With the aim of developing molecular diagnostic tools that can stratify cancer patients accurately for treatment with anti- Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor (HER) treatment and/or chemotherapeutics such as oxaloplatin (an alkylating agent), we have developed high-content imaging-based tissue analyses that quantify in archived (paraffin) tumor samples, the relative concentrations of HER (2/3) heterodimer and the activated BRCA1(sumoylated) fraction (1). Our automated imaging platform that quantifies specific protein-protein interactions in cancer tissues is in part based on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) measured by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM)(2, 3), the gold standard for the determination of FRET (as reviewed recently (4-6)), which has been used to directly monitor, validated protein-protein interactions and post-translational modifications (PTMs). Our current goal is to combine molecular imaging (whole body with PET and MRI, coupled to tissue nanoscopic imaging) with genomics to stratify medicines to cancer patients amd predict clinical outcome.Treatment regimes could therefore be individually tailored both at diagnosis and throughout treatment, through monitoring of drug pharmacodynamics providing early readout of response or resistance.

Department:  Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS)

Contact: Elizabeth Gill | 725-6175 |


  • Professor Tony Ng MBChB, MRCP, FRCPath, PhD