Current Research and Scholarly Interests
In the United States, cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in patients between 25 and 64 years of age, and the second leading cause of death in patients both above 65 years and between 1 and 14 years. Since prognosis and survival of patients with cancer highly depend on the tumor stage at the time of diagnosis, early cancer detection shows great promise in prolonging survival and improving quality of life in cancer patients. Therefore, novel imaging strategies are highly desirable that allow detection of cancer at early, still curable stages. Furthermore, with the advent of novel therapeutic options for cancer patients there is an increasing demand for non-invasive imaging biomarkers to identify those patients early on that benefit most from a given treatment or to terminate or modify treatment for those patients not responding to a certain treatment.
In my laboratory we focus on the development and clinical translation of novel molecular and functional imaging biomarkers with special focus on imaging abdominal and pelvic cancer including pancreatic, liver, renal, ovarian, and prostate cancer. We further advance clinically available radiological imaging modalities such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) as promising imaging tools for early detection and treatment monitoring of abdominal and pelvic cancer. Our mission is to integrate novel molecular and functional imaging strategies into clinical protocols for improved patient care in the near future.