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Clinical Research

Current projects


Previous phases of this successful research project were devoted to the development of new graph-based methods for multi-surface and/or multi-object multi-dimensional biomedical image segmentation. Deep learning is emerging as an important new way to learn from large sets of examples. This proposal will combine deep learning and graph-based image analysis to maximize their combined strengths and overcome their individual weaknesses with the overarching goal to facilitate routine use of quantitative medical image analysis techniques in personalized medical care. Relevant Publications.

A New Prostate Cancer Treatment to Improve Outcomes and Reduce Side-effects

The advantage of HDR Brachytherapy is the ability to deliver a single high-dose of radiation in close proximity to the tumor. However, the radiation is distributed spherically around the catheter and may affect sensitive organs located near the tumor. Rotating shield brachytherapy (RSBT) is delivered through a catheter with the ability to aim the beam at the tumor while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. Development of the device and the algorithms supporting its use involved a close association between faculty and staff of the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Radiation Oncology. Progress toward a marketable product is progressing well. Relevant Publications.

Exploiting Redox Metabolism Using Pharmacological Ascorbate for Cancer Therapy

Intravenous ascorbate produces high plasma concentrations (15-20 mM) in the range that is selectively cytotoxic to tumor versus normal cells. This highly integrated program project will test the hypothesis that that pharmacological ascorbate can be used as an easily implementable clinical adjuvant to conventional radio- chemo-therapies that will selectively target cancer vs. normal cells by increasing H2O2 formation. Overall the proposed studies will have a significant impact on the rapid development of pharmacological ascorbate as an agent to increase treatment efficacy that can be easily implemented in multi-institutional large scale phase 3 trials. (Core C will provide experienced, well-trained clinical trials staff specializing in implementing translational, clinical research involving pharmacological ascorbate (P-AscH-). Relevant Publications

Sharpening the edge in pencil-beam proton therapy: an aftermarket collimation system to better spare normal tissue during radiation treatment

This focuses on the development of a new device to reduce unwanted radiation dose for cancer patients undergoing proton therapy and is expected to decrease normal tissue complications and improve quality of life. Relevant Publications

Oral Mucositis research

Oral Mucositis (mouth sores) caused by chemo-radiation is one of the most common side-effects for patients with Oral Cavity Cancer. A recent Phase I study concluded in our department determined the safety of the superoxide dismutase mimetic GC4419. A subsequent Phase II trial  describe the efficacy of GC4419 in reducing severe oral mucositis. The article “Phase IIb, Randomized, Double-Blind Trial of GC4419 Versus Placebo to Reduce Severe Oral Mucositis Due to Concurrent Radiotherapy and Cisplatin For Head and Neck Cancer,” was published on October 16 by the Journal of Clinical Oncology.