UCSF researchers develop individualized cancer treatment with biomarkers

Researchers in the radiology department at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)—led by of Sabrina Ronen, PhD, director of the Brain Research Interest Group (RIG) and professor in the department of radiology and biomedical imaging at UCSF—are in the process of developing new, non-invasive imaging biomarker indicators to address multiple types of cancer, according to a recent UCSF press release

Ronen and her team are specifically working to develop and mechanistically validate non-invasive translatable MRI-based biomarker indicators that characterize tumors beyond just size.  

Ronen and her team have developed particular biomarkers that inform clinicians and researchers about genetic events that drive the development of different tumors. Other biomarkers allow clinicians to properly indicate if and when a drug given to a patient has reached the tumor.  

“Once the oncologist has that information, they can now work on treating that patient in a more precise and personalized way, really targeting the treatment to the individual’s tumor,” said Ronen.

Research conducted in the Ronen Lab focuses primarily on health imaging in correlation to detecting and treating prostate cancer, breast cancer and various degrees of brain tumors. Despite an ongoing concern for funding and innovative equipment, Ronen explains that that reality does not deter her or her team from continuing their research.  

"In my ideal world, we don't worry about that. We're really focused on the science and delivering the very best possible imaging to the patient in the clinic," concluded Ronen.