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Beckman Laser Institute to improve breast cancer detection

Irvine, CA--The Beckman Laser Institute at UC Irvine will lead a nationwide effort to standardize use of a new technology that improves breast cancer detection, cancer therapy management and the quality of life for cancer patients.

Funded by a $7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, the center will focus on speeding the ongoing development of an experimental laser-based technology called "diffuse optical imaging." This technology can be used to detect and give detailed information on tumors, and researchers will use it to create laser imaging devices that complement conventional detection methods, such as mammography and MRI.

"Our goal is to transform this cutting-edge science into a versatile tool that can be widely used by the entire cancer research community," said Bruce J. Tromberg, director of the Beckman Laser Institute and lead investigator in the study. A professor of surgery and biomedical engineering, Tromberg is one of the researchers who pioneered the use of this technology.

To achieve this goal, the center will lead a consortium of researchers from universities, government agencies and medical device companies. Research will focus on creating new instruments specifically designed for detecting and treating cancer. The center will also validate the performance of these new instruments, as well as standardize how images are acquired and analyzed. In addition, the center will facilitate the creation of multi-center clinical trials and form commercial partnerships that advance development of the technology.

"This technology will provide added insight into the origins of breast disease and practical approaches for addressing several key challenges in breast cancer clinical management," Tromberg said. "This includes detecting early disease, distinguishing between malignant and benign lesions, and understanding the impact of therapies."

Researchers at the Beckman Laser Institute and elsewhere have already found laser bre
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Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-5484
University of California - Irvine
21-Oct-2003


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