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Student innovation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could lead to better breast cancer screening
Date:3/3/2011

Troy, N.Y. Recent research by doctoral student Sevan Goenezen holds the promise of becoming a powerful new weapon in the fight against breast cancer. His complex computational research has led to a fast, inexpensive new method for using ultrasound and advanced algorithms to differentiate between benign and malignant tumors with a high degree of accuracy.

Goenezen, a student in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer, is one of three finalists for the 2011 $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Rensselaer Student Prize. A public ceremony announcing this year's winner will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9 in the auditorium of the Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. For more information on the ceremony visit: http://www.eng.rpi.edu/lemelson/

Goenezen's project is titled "Breast Cancer Diagnosis with Nonlinear Elasticity Imaging," and his faculty adviser is Assad Oberai, associate professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer.

Nearly 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually in the United States, and the disease takes the lives of more than 40,000 women every year, according to the National Institutes of Health. Early detection is crucial for combating cancer, and beginning at age 40 women are urged to undergo yearly mammograms, which cannot reliably distinguish between benign and malignant tumors. So if a tumor is found, a biopsy is required before the physician can make a final diagnosis.

Goenezen's research offers the hope of dramatically reducing the need for invasive, uncomfortable, and stress-inducing biopsies, and perhaps even replacing mammograms. It uses a new technique to analyze images captured with a noninvasive, radiation-free ultrasound device, locate tumors, and determine if the tumor is malignant. The only required equipment is a specific type of ultrasound mac
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Contact: Michael Mullaney
mullam@rpi.edu
518-276-6161
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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