New imaging technology may help predict aggressiveness of lung cancer

Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic are leading development of a computerized tissue-imaging program that could soon help identify which lung cancer patients are likely to face an earlier recurrence of the disease.

With that information, cancer experts could more accurately determine which lung cancer patients should undergo aggressive post-surgery chemotherapy–and which are unlikely to benefit from it.

“Right now, virtually all early-stage lung cancer patients get surgery,” said Anant Madabhushi, founding director of the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD) at the Case School of Engineering. “The problem is oncologists don’t currently have sufficient information to know which of these patients will also receive added benefit from chemotherapy.”

The National Cancer Institute recently awarded Madabhushi and his colleagues a $3.16 million grant to advance the promising project.

“What we’ve proposed with this grant is to create the first actual predictive analysis for early-stage lung cancer to figure out who is going to benefit from chemotherapy or not,” said Madabhushi, who is leading the research along with Vamsidhar Velcheti, M.D., a thoracic oncologist at Cleveland Clinic. “We haven’t yet shown that it’s predictive, because we haven’t done the study from the clinical trials. That’s what the grant will help us to do.”



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