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NIH award goes to UT MD Anderson imaging innovator Guerrero
Date:10/1/2010

HOUSTON - Digging more data out of lung CT scans to improve treatment of lung cancer and diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has earned a physician-scientist at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center a New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health.

The award, one of 52 announced Thursday out of 2,200 applications, provides $1.5 million over five years to Thomas Guerrero, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in MD Anderson's Department of Radiation Oncology.

"We are excited about Dr. Guerrero's innovator award," said Thomas Buchholz, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. "His work represents a novel, noninvasive imaging method for better understanding of lung function, which will enable us to further personalize radiation treatment planning to provide the most effective and safe treatment of lung cancer."

Since 2003, Guerrero and colleagues have refined a mathematical program - an algorithm - designed to more accurately identify damaged areas of the lung. Their program applies a technology called deformable image registration (DIR) to CT scans to characterize breathing function in all areas of the lung.

"Our goal for lung cancer is to reduce toxicity caused when patients receive radiotherapy, and for COPD to characterize disease. Our research methods produce images of the distribution of lung function, or lack of lung function, throughout the lung in these patients," Guerrero said.

The NIH Innovator grant will fund a clinical trial that compares the use of Guerrero's program to target radiation at lung tumors with the current standard of image-guided targeting methods based on volume avoidance techniques. Loss of lung function will be compared between the two groups of patients.

"We're going to test the ability to reduce injury to the lung from radiation therapy for patients with advanced lung cancer," Guerrero said. "In the past we've irradia
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Contact: Scott Merville
smerville@mdanderson.org
713-792-0661
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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