Giving Cancer to Treat Cancer--wait...that doesn't sound right! How Image-Guided Surgery can Treat Cancer, Promote World Peace, and Solve Life's Mysteries!
Vipul Pai Raikar
David M Kwartowitz
Bioengineering (College of Engineering and Science)
Although most of the title is a hyperbole, it is estimated that a staggering 1.6 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2014. Unfortunately every year about 585,000 people lose this battle. The current standard of care for cancer diagnosis uses radiological imaging and blood work for initial detection followed by more invasive assessments of pathology, such as acquisition of biopsy samples from the area of interest. Once a diagnosis is established, many of these cancer cases are managed, biopsy included, under the Minimally Invasive Surgery paradigm. My research particularly focuses on Image-guided percutaneous kidney access. Radiology studies that are ordered to diagnose and manage cancers greatly increase the risk of potentially developing future cancers both to the patient and the clinician. In my work, we are striving to minimize this risk by employing GPS-like systems in the operating room and algorithmic techniques to ultrasound imaging, in-order to guide the clinician during the procedure. In addition, Shape analysis techniques are being worked on to generate highly accurate anatomical models of the kidney which will aid in reducing the overall number ionizing scans needed during treatment. Our goal is to make this challenging procedure safer, more accurate, and more effective.