Oncology is the branch of science that deals with cancer. Several forms of cancer exist; all of them involve unregulated cell growth, forming malignant tumors that can invade other parts of the body. Cancer statistics report that over one in three women and one in two men will develop some form of cancer during their life. Prostate and breast cancer have the highest incidence in men and in women, respectively. Timely diagnosis and intervention are crucial.
The BM/d Research Team seeks continuously new imaging solutions for timely cancer diagnosis, possibly enabling minimally invasive intervention through guided focal therapy. We develop novel methods for characterization of cancer tissue by combining physiological modeling with image analysis. Hallmarks of cancer including chaotic vasculature with complex hemodynamics, increased vascular permeability, abnormal tissue stiffness, as well as altered molecular environment are investigated through different ultrasound and MRI imaging modalities, with focus on contrast-enhanced imaging. Our aim is to extract quantitative imaging parameters that are related to the hallmarks of cancer by model-based analysis, providing accurate imaging biomarkers for cancer localization and grading. Optimal combination of the obtained parameters through machine learning enables boosting the diagnostic accuracy.
Oncology research is carried in collaboration with national and international clinical partners, including the Amsterdam UMC (the Netherlands), the Catharina Hospital Eindhoven (the Netherlands), the Jeroen Bosch Hospital ('s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands), the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Stanford University (CA, United States), Case Western Reserve University (OH, United States), the second affiliated hospital of Zhejiang University (Zhejiang, China), and the Martini Klinik (Hamburg, Germany).