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School of Medicine
The Cancer Molecular and Functional Imaging Program advances cancer research by providing advanced and sophisticated imaging techniques for biomarker discovery, drug development and cancer treatment. The ability to see inside the cancer cell and its environment, at the molecular level, is critical to ongoing progress against cancer. It allows researchers to fully understand how cancer cells initiate, grow, and spread. Imaging techniques aid in clinical research by providing opportunities to detect cancers at the very earliest stages, long before they are detectable by X-ray or physical examination, and most importantly, before they cause symptoms. Discoveries in cancer genetics, epigenetics and immunology have resulted in new, targeted drug treatment approaches that zero in on and interfere with molecular pathways and signals. Experts in this program move these advances to the clinic by developing the essential techniques and probes used to verify that targeted treatments hit the intended target and achieve the intended response against the cancer. This work can guide treatment selection, monitor the activity of targeted therapies and help predict and monitor for cancer recurrence.