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Early treatment response monitoring and cancer screening

Dr. Greg Czarnota, director of the Odette Cancer Research Program at SRI, has developed an imaging technique based on quantitative ultrasound that is able to show a person’s response to cancer treatment very early on. The method uses raw data produced by ultrasound machines to detect whether tumour cells are dying. In a study of 100 women with an aggressive form of breast cancer, Czarnota and colleagues showed they could predict tumour response with 82% accuracy using the technique after just one week of chemotherapy. The aim is to translate the technology clinically, so that oncologists may one day be able to personalize care through early therapy response monitoring.

He is also exploring use of this technique in women with suspicious breast lesions for rapid diagnosis of breast cancer. In an early study, Czarnota and colleagues showed that quantitative ultrasound biomarkers can distinguish between benign and malignant lesions.