The Center for Quantitative Cancer Imaging (CQCI) was founded with the goal of providing researchers, clinicians, and the people of Utah with state-of-the-art molecular imaging technologies to enable high-quality research and assist clinicians in diagnosing disease and monitoring therapy.
Using these molecular imaging technologies will provide “personalized medicine” for each patient while obtaining biologic information non-invasively. PET imaging allows the monitoring of the progression of a disease over time rather than requiring patients to undergo surgery or tissue sampling.
One goal of the CQCI is to develop non-invasive imaging techniques that may identify biological parameters of disease. This enables clinicians to improve therapeutic treatment as well as monitor response to subsequent treatment. For example, a complementary set of imaging techniques can characterize the blood supply, growth parameters, metabolic characteristics, and cell surface receptors of a tumor. These biologic parameters can be used to help select the most appropriate therapy based on biologically relevant information. Once the therapy is selected, it can be assessed and monitored early in the course of therapy to assure that the patient is receiving the most appropriate therapy.
In those instances where the biologic parameters are not behaving as expected, another course of therapy can be chosen, thus assuring that each patient is receiving the most appropriate therapy for their particular tumor. This personalized early therapeutic monitoring will then correlate with tumor response and can be used to predict a final treatment outcome. Currently, the outcome of a treatment is only known at the end, or even long after the end, of a particular treatment course. The goal is to assure early on in the course of a particular therapy that there is an appropriate biologic response. Using the results of these various imaging tests, it is possible to preselect the most appropriate treatment and modify the drugs, interventions, or therapeutic procedures during the therapy of a patient.
The University of Utah offers many unique features for developing the concept of personalized medicine. This includes the University’s strength in these areas:
- Genetics research
- High-risk cancer clinics
- Utah Population Database
The integration of molecular imaging into these resources is a natural fit in the development of personalized medicine.
The CQCI has been successful over the past several years in obtaining extramural support for many projects of interest to members of the program and others within Huntsman Cancer Institute. The following links provide an overview of the current research projects and clinical trials.
- Recent Accomplishments
- Clinical Trials
- Grant Funding