Grumbach collaboration to examine impact of radiation on blood vessels

Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD, professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, and Randy Kardon, MD, PhD, professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, received a five-year, R01 grant for $2.5 million from the National Institutes of Health. The duo will study the effects of radiation therapy on small blood vessels, also known as microvessels, in cancer survivors.

Every year, more than 850,000 Americans are diagnosed with some form of cancer, and two-thirds of these patients are treated with radiation therapy. However, Grumbach says, despite improvements in cancer tissue targeting techniques, radiation can still injure healthy tissue surrounding the treatment area. Using recently developed imaging techniques, Grumbach and Kardon’s study will examine radiation injury in the retina’s small blood vessels following treatment of eye melanoma. In fact, many patients after treatment experience some degree of vision loss.

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