Onco-Imaging and Biotechnology (OIB) is an essential component of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (CFCCC) at UC Irvine. Imaging is used in virtually every cancer patient, in many animal models used for cancer research and in a large number of in-vitro (test-tube) cancer experiments. Imaging is fundamental to cancer research at the CFCCC.
Biotechnology has advanced from the Photomedicine Program to the Onco-Imaging and Spectroscopy Program at UC Irvine. These programs are uniquely suited for oncology studies, and further development of mult-modality imaging technologies that utilize nano and microfluidic technologies. These techonogies integrate “lab on a chip” system, which advance cellular and molecular diagnostics for improved cancer detection and therapy.
For example, OIB is developing new technologies and methods for engineering cellular systems to allow visualization of complex dynamics that occur between cells, vasculature and extracellular matrix and apply these findings to clinical trials designed to improve cancer detection and clinical management of cancer. In addition, a significant clinical focus area of the OIB is Breast Cancer Imaging. To date, there are many ongoing translational projects and clinical trials that include quantitative assessment of breast density and response to certain agents (experimental drugs).
Many members are affiliated with two well-established UC Irvine Centers: the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (BLIMC) and the Tu & Yuen Center for Functional Onco-Imaging (CFOI). Additionally, OIB members are also affiliated with UC Irvine’s Institute for Nanoscale Research and Fabrication (INRF), the Micro/Nano Fluidics Fundamental Focus Center, and the Department of Engineering.
Lydia Su, Ph.D., the Working Group Leader of the OIB, is a professor in the Department of Radiological Sciences and Physics, the director of Tu & Yuen Center for Functional Onco-Imaging, and the co-director of the Disease Oriented Team (DOT) in Women’s Cancers at the UC Irvine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Su is working on development of surrogate biomarkers based on the change of breast density on mammography or MRI for predicting the efficacy of hormonal therapy used for chemoprevention or adjuvant cancer treatment.