NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a Rutgers-affiliated company $207,000 to develop a quick and economical analysis of tissue from breast cancer biopsies. The technology is designed to predict how aggressive a common form of breast cancer is likely to be, helping physicians and patients plan effective therapies that minimize side effects.
The NIH made its grant to Ibris, Inc., through the Small Business Innovation Research program, which federal funding agencies use to encourage American businesses to engage in research and development with commercial potential. Ibris, Inc. is a Piscataway, N.J.-based start-up company that is negotiating a license for computerized image recognition technology developed by Anant Madabhushi, professor of biomedical engineering in the Rutgers School of Engineering.
"Each year, about 120 thousand women in the U.S. and a million women worldwide are diagnosed with ER positive breast cancer," said Madabhushi. Those with less aggressive forms of the disease may respond solely to hormonal therapy, typically tamoxifen, but those with more aggressive forms will also require chemotherapy.
"By determining how aggressive the tumor is, we can help those with less aggressive cancer avoid chemotherapy with its side-effects and expense, and at the same time, we can help those with more aggressive cancer get immediate access to the treatment they need to fight the disease."
Madabhushi's technology examines a high-resolution digital image of biopsy specimens, using computerized image analysis tools to reveal difficult-to-discern characteristics that indicate the disease's grades of severity. It builds on earlier research to detect and grade prostate cancer by analyzing magnetic resonance images of the gland.
The current diagnostic procedure is for a pathologist to examine samples of suspicious tissue to determine whether it is cancerous, and if so, classify the
|Contact: Carl Blesch|