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MCW researcher awarded $1.7 million grant to study imaging of brain tumor cells

Milwaukee, June 29, 2017 – Peter LaViolette, PhD, MS, assistant professor of radiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) received a five-year, $1,752,975 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute to investigate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of glioblastoma, high-grade brain cancer.

Glioblastoma is a devastating disease with an average life expectancy of about 15 months. Throughout therapy, patients undergo successive MR imaging to monitor tumor response to treatment and to determine whether tumors are invading into nearby healthy brain tissue. The long term goal of Dr. LaViolette’s study is to provide imaging tools and biomarker integration strategies for individualizing glioblastoma treatment.

This research project will examine whole human brain samples and clinical MRI scans to provide a detailed understanding of how brain tumor cells appear on macroscopic imaging. This project will use this combined dataset of human brain cancer tissue and imaging as a training dataset for use in predictive computational models meant to map tumor invasion currently invisible to radiologists. With this further knowledge and technical developments, the proposed research will ultimately improve patient care and clinical decision-making as a more detailed understanding of the imaging characteristics of glioblastoma emerges.

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