Harnessing the Power of Light to See and Treat Breast Cancer

images[9]Our objective is to exploit the wealth of physiological, metabolic, morphological and molecular sources of optical contrast to develop novel strategies that focus on two breast cancer applications: tumor margin assessment and prediction of response to neo-adjuvant therapy. The proposed aims of this grant are expected to result in three major contributions. The first has the most immediate impact. An optically based strategy that can quickly and non-destructively detect positive tumor margins will decrease the need for re-excision surgery and thereby decrease the local recurrence rate and rate of distant metastases in women electing BCS. Gaining insight into the physiological, metabolic, morphological and molecular sources of heterogeneity within and among tumors and how they are modulated by therapy, drug resistance and metastatic potential will directly benefit prognostication, prediction of outcome and planning of cancer therapies. With these tools, clinicians and clinical researchers can get a better understanding of this disease and how it might react to a drug. Basic science researchers could use it as an informed approach to study tumor biology and assay the effect of novel therapeutic agents in vivo. Personal Author N. Ramanujam
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