The hunt is on for imaging biomarkers of ovarian cancer

A researcher at the University of Arizona is spearheading an effort to come up with a reliable way to catch ovarian cancer in its earliest stages.

With funding from the National Cancer Institute, engineer Jennifer Barton, PhD, is working with med-school colleagues in the OB/GYN, physiology and imaging departments to identify imaging biomarkers for ovarian cancer in mice.

According to  Arizona Engineer, the team is using optical coherence tomography, fluorescence imaging and multiphoton microscopy to capture in vivo images. From these, physical and biochemical changes can be monitored over time en route to creating a roadmap of the changes that happen during ovarian cancer.

“This gives us a very controlled way of looking at ovarian cancer,” Barton says. “We can observe developments over just a few months that would occur over several years in women with the disease.”

The researchers will also develop contrast agents to study overexpression of cell surface receptors that could be targeted to increase sensitivity to imaging, the publication reports.

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