“Dr. Zhu and his collaborators are developing cutting edge engineering solutions that have the potential to advance personalized treatments for cancer,” said Abhijit Patwardhan, interim chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. "This pilot grant award will provide necessary resources to help this multidisciplinary team develop novel metabolic strategies for pre-evaluation of the response to radiotherapy in breast cancer patients”
In this multidisciplinary research, Zhu is collaborating with Xiaoqin Wang, assistant professor in the College of Medicine Department of Radiology, and Teresa Fan, professor in the College of Medicine Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, to develop novel metabolic strategies for breast cancer radiotherapy (RT) responses pre-evaluation.
Specifically, the team will develop a novel point-of-care metabolic microscope, an organotypic tumor culture platform, and then use these techniques to help determine individual patient’s tumor samples’ responsiveness to RT during the decision-making window, thereby advancing RT selection and design. Through these studies, the team endeavors to move toward personalized RT that will add to the standard of care for breast cancer patients. If successful, the imaging techniques developed could impact patient care at the Markey Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated center in the state of Kentucky.