Molecular imaging of steroid receptors in breast cancer
3252 Clinical Science Center
600 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53792
Cancer Biology; Physiology; Transcriptional Mechanisms
My lab is focused on using molecular imaging to better understand the biology of breast cancer including its response to targeted drug therapies and the development of drug resistance. Specifically, we are interested in quantitative imaging of steroid hormone receptors (estrogen and progesterone receptor) since these are well-established prognostic and predictive biomarkers for breast cancer patients. Noninvasive measurements of these biomarkers at baseline and early after initiation of therapy (either alone or in combination with novel targeted drug therapies) is important since this knowledge may help clinicians choose the best drug tailored to each patient based on their specific tumor signaling characteristics and ultimately improve survival.
Currently, our focus is on using 18F-labeled radiopharmaceuticals and imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We are also interested in correlating genomic and clinical outcome information to explore whether quantitative imaging data can yield insight into tumor heterogeneity which is an important factor in disease progression and drug resistance. We also are studying how patient and biologic factors, such as tumor genomic mutations, influence uptake of 18F-labeled steroid hormone radiopharmaceuticals used for molecular imaging.