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Meet Our Researchers

Biomarkers for Radiation Oncology

 

Hesham Elhalawani, MD, MSc

Hesham Elhalawani, MD, MSc, is developing a decision-making tool to help diagnose radiation necrosis (RN) earlier in patients being treated with immunotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastases. Dr. Elhalawani and mentor Ayal Aizer, MD, MHS, are using artificial intelligence to conduct an analysis of MRIs performed before and after SRS to identify imaging biomarkers to predict which patients are most likely to develop RN.

David Miyamoto, MD, PhD

David Miyamoto, MD, PhD, is developing a new blood test to detect and analyze circulating tumor cells in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer with an ROI Biomarkers for Radiation Oncology Award. This non-invasive liquid biopsy test will help identify patients who can be effectively treated with bladder-preserving trimodality therapy, a combination of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and limited surgery that avoids removing the entire bladder.

Sonal Noticewala, MD, MAS

Sonal Noticewala, MD, MAS, is exploring the role of the microbiome in how patients with pancreatic cancer respond to chemoradiation. With mentor Cullen Taniguchi, MD, PhD, Dr. Noticewala is examining bacterial profiles in paired tissue samples of pancreatic tumors and peri-tumoral regions to define a signature microbiome associated with patient response to chemoradiation, which could lead to studies that target the microbiome to optimize treatments.

Nina Sanford, MD, and Wen Jiang, MD, PhD

Nina Sanford, MD, and Wen Jiang, MD, PhD, are Co-Principal Investigators on a project to develop a novel microscale biochip device to monitor disease progression and treatment response in anal cancer. Their innovative technology will be used to capture circulating exosomes and to detect a microRNA specific to anal cancer in patient blood samples before, during and after chemoradiation that would allow for greater personalization of treatment.