about the lab
With a mission to improve the lives of children with brain tumors, we have created a multi-institutional translational research collaboration that bridges advanced in vivo tumor imaging with in vitro studies of cell growth and metabolism.
Our goal is to understand how heterogeneity within the tumor microenvironment affects responses to treatment. Our rationale is that this information can be used to generate relevant tumor models for preclinical trials, and ultimately equip clinicians with non-invasive imaging techniques for therapeutic decision-making without the need for biopsy or other surgical intervention. Our approach uses artificial intelligence with deep learning for an unprecedented level of image analysis with correlation to clinical, biologic, and genetic data, in combination with patient-derived cell culture models.
learn about Dayton Children's tissue biobank and the collaboration with the Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium.
background and significance
Pediatric brain tumors have recently surpassed leukemia as the leading cause of cancer-related death in children. Intra-tumoral heterogeneity is often a cause of treatment resistance or failure, and has remained understudied because the field has been hindered by the paucity of biological specimens, outdated culture and animal models, and erroneous extrapolation of adult data to pediatric problems.
More recent efforts for creating personalized therapeutic strategies have focused on discovering prognostic biomarkers that require high-risk, invasive tumor tissue sampling, followed by costly and rarely accessible genomic analyses. Non-invasive techniques for diagnosis, prognosis, and design of tailored therapies are not available.
Our long-term goal is to discover new tools for brain tumor management based on automated in vivo image analysis and correlation to molecular and metabolic features of experimental tumor models, for the purpose of both therapeutic decision-making as well as the construction of relevant tumor models for preclinical trials.