https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Hopeful-technology-could-change-detection-diagnosis-of-deadly-ovarian-cancer.aspx960‘Hopeful technology’ could change detection, diagnosis of deadly ovarian cancer <p>​Ovarian cancer claims the lives of more than 14,000 women in the U.S. each year, ranking fifth among cancer deaths in women. A multidisciplinary team at Washington University in St. Louis has found an innovative way to use sound and light, or photoacoustic, imaging to diagnose ovarian tumors, which may lead to a promising new diagnostic imaging technique to improve current standard of care for patients with ovarian cancer. <br/><br/></p><div class="youtube-wrap"><div class="iframe-container"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Akv83O0Z8LI"></iframe> <br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> </div></div> <br/><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/New%20Ovarian%20Cancer%20Img.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>Quing Zhu, professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and of radiology, and a team of physicians and researchers at Washington University School of Medicine recently conducted a pilot study using co-registered photoacoustic tomography with ultrasound to evaluate ovarian tumors on 16 patients at the School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Results of the study are <a href="https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/radiol.2018180666" rtenodeid="2">published online in <em>Radiology</em></a>.<br/></p><p>"When ovarian cancer is detected at an early, localized stage — stage 1 or 2 — the five-year survival rate after surgery and chemotherapy is 70 to 90 percent, compared with 20 percent or less when it is diagnosed at later stages — stage 3 or 4," said Zhu, a pioneer of combining ultrasound and near-infrared imaging modalities for cancer diagnosis and treatment assessment. "Clearly, early detection is critical, yet due the lack of effective screening tools only 20-25 percent of ovarian cancers are diagnosed early. If detected in later stages, the survival rate is very low."<br/></p><p>In their approach, researchers use transvaginal ultrasound to obtain information about ovarian tumors, but ultrasound lacks accuracy in diagnosis of ovarian masses, Zhu said. Photoacoustic tomography, however, gives researchers a very detailed look at the tumor's vasculature, or tumor angiogenesis, and blood oxygen saturation (sO<sub>2</sub>) by lighting up the tumor's vasculature bed and allowing for more accurate diagnoses of ovarian masses seen by ultrasound. Both tumor angiogenesis and tumor sO<sub>2</sub> are related to tumor growth, metabolism and therapeutic response. The Washington University team is the only team using co-registered photoacoustic imaging and ultrasound to diagnose ovarian cancer.<br/></p><p>In the pilot study, Zhu and her team created a sheath with optical fibers that wrap around a standard transvaginal ultrasound probe. The optical fibers are connected to a laser. Once the probe is inside the patient, Zhu turns the laser on, which shines through the vaginal muscle wall. With photoacoustic tomography, the light from the laser propagates, gets absorbed by the tumor and generates sound waves, revealing information about the tumor angiogenesis and sO<sub>2</sub> inside the ultrasound-visible ovaries. A normal ovary contains a lot of collagen, Zhu said, but an ovary with invasive cancers has extensive blood vessels and lower sO<sub>2</sub>.<br/></p><p>The team used two biomarkers to characterize the ovaries: relative total hemoglobin concentration (rHbT), which is directly related to tumor angiogenesis, and mean oxygen saturation (sO<sub>2</sub>). In this pilot study, the team found that the rHbT was 1.9 times higher for invasive epithelial cancerous ovaries, which make up 90 percent of ovarian cancers, than for normal ovaries. The mean oxygen saturation of invasive epithelial cancers was 9.1 percent lower than normal and benign ovaries. All five invasive epithelial cancerous ovaries, including two stage 1 and 2 cancers, showed extensive rHbT distribution and lower sO<sub>2</sub>.<br/></p><p>"Physicians are very excited about this because it might bring significant change into current clinical practice," Zhu said. "It is very valuable to detect and diagnose ovarian cancers at early stages. It is also important to provide information and assurance to patients that there is no worry about their ovaries, instead of removing a patient's ovaries. This technology can also be valuable to monitor high-risk patients who have increased risk of ovarian and breast cancers due to their genetic mutations. The current standard of care for these women is performing risk reduction surgeries to remove their ovaries at some point which affects their quality of life and causes other health problems." <br/></p><blockquote>"This technology may provide a means to improve early ovarian cancer detection, help avoid surgery in most patients with a normal or benign ovary, substantially reduce medical costs, and improve women's quality of life. We look forward to bringing this study to the next level." - Professor Quing Zhu <br/></blockquote><p>"We are very fortunate to participate in this research endeavor headed by Dr. Zhu," said Cary Siegel, MD, professor of radiology and chief of gastrointestinal/genitourinary radiology at the School of Medicine. "This photoacoustic imaging study has great potential to better identify ovarian cancers and may play a valuable role in screening high risk patients and triaging patients for follow-up imaging or surgical excision."<br/></p><p>Zhu credits her physician collaborators, including Siegel; Matthew Powell, MD, associate professor and chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology; Ian Hagemann, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pathology & immunology; David Mutch, MD, the Ira C. and Judith Gall Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; and as well as the Radiology team and the entire gynecology group, as well as her doctoral students Sreyankar Nandy, Atahar Mostafa and Eghbal Amidi who worked on instrumentation, control software and data processing.<br/></p><p>"I really appreciated this as a group effort to bring the study to this point," Zhu said. "This technology may provide a means to improve early ovarian cancer detection, help avoid surgery in most patients with a normal or benign ovary, substantially reduce medical costs, and improve women's quality of life. We look forward to bringing this study to the next level."<br/></p><p>These initial results will need to be validated with more patients, Zhu said, and the team is applying for funding to conduct a large clinical trial.<br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p>Nandy S, Mostafa A, Hagemann I, Powell M, Amidi E, Robinson K, Mutch D, Siegel C, Zhu Q. "Evaluation of Ovarian Cancer: Initial Application of Coregistered Photoacoustic Tomography and US." <em>Radiology</em>, published online Sept. 11, 2018. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2018180666" style="background-color: #ffffff;"><span>https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2018180666</span></a><br/></p><p>This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01CA151570, R01EB002136, R25 CA190190) and by the Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives, National Cancer Institute (R01CA151570, R01EB002136, R25 CA190190).<br/></p><span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Quing Zhu<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"><div> <br/> </div><div><div><div style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/news/PublishingImages/Zhu_Quing_15.jpeg?RenditionID=3" alt="Mark Anastasio" style="margin: 5px;"/> <br/><br/></div></div></div> <div style="text-align: left;"> <ul style="padding-left: 20px; caret-color: #343434; color: #343434;"><li>Pioneer of combining ultrasound and near infrared (NIR) imaging modalities for clinical diagnosis of cancers and for treatment assessment and prediction of cancers<br/></li><li>Her pioneering research has now been heralded by the imaging and radiology community as an important advance in society's ability to distinguish benign and malignant lesions in the breast. <br/></li></ul></div><div style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Quing-Zhu.aspx">>> ​View Bio</a></div><div style="text-align: center;"> <br/> </div></div></div> </span>A CT image of an ovary (A), an ultrasound image (B), the combined ultrasound/photoacoustic tomography image showing vasculature in the tumor (C), soft tissue mass (D) , with numerous & extensive microvessels (E), oxygen saturation (F)Beth Miller 2018-11-08T06:00:00ZA promising new diagnostic imaging technique may improve current standard of care for patients with ovarian cancery
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Rudy-named-Merton-College-Visiting-Research-Fellow.aspx958Rudy named Merton College Visiting Research Fellow<img alt="" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Rudy_Yoram.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​Merton College at Oxford University recently named a faculty member from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis one of its Visiting Research Fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year.  </p><p>Yoram Rudy, the Fred Saigh Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, will hold the fellowship during the university’s Michaelmas term, which runs from Oct. 7 through Dec. 1.</p><p>Along with his professorship, Rudy established and is the director of the Cardiac Bioelectricity and Arrhythmia Center at WashU. He also has served as visiting professor at universities around the world, including Columbia, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Bern, Nagoya, Maastricht, Stanford and Technion.</p><p>Merton College’s Visiting Research Fellowship brings eminent researchers to Oxford for collaboration and exchange between graduates and visiting scholars. <br/></p>2018-11-07T06:00:00ZYoram Rudy has been awarded the prestigious fellowship, which is offered by Oxford University.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Biomaterials-with-Frankenstein-Proteins-Help-Heal-Tissue.aspx946Biomaterials with "Frankenstein Proteins" Help Heal Tissue<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Porous%20Elastin-Based%20Network.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Biomedical engineers from Duke University and Washington University in St. Louis have demonstrated that, by injecting an artificial protein made from a solution of ordered and disordered segments, a solid scaffold forms in response to body heat, and in a few weeks seamlessly integrates into tissue.<div><br/>The ability to combine these segments into proteins with unique properties will allow researchers to precisely control the properties of new biomaterials for applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.<br/> <br/>“Being able to simulate the molecular basis for tunable hysteresis puts us on the path to design bespoke materials with desired structures and shape memory profiles,” said Rohit Pappu, the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Pappu’s lab provided the computational modeling necessary for the project.</div><div><br/>The research<a href="https://pratt.duke.edu/about/news/biomaterials-frankenstein-proteins-help-heal-tissue"> appears online on October 15 in the journal Nature Materials.</a><br/></div>The partially ordered protein forms a stable, porous scaffold that can rapidly integrate into tissue and promote the formation of blood vessels.2018-10-16T05:00:00ZBy injecting an artificial protein made from a solution of ordered and disordered segments, a solid scaffold forms in response to body heat, and in a few weeks seamlessly integrates into tissue.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Holehouse,-team-reveal-new-insights-into-cell-signaling-.aspx944Holehouse, team reveal new insights into cell signaling <img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/IMG_4130.JPG?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Cells give signals that lead to changes in the expression of genes in our bodies. Behind those signals are a variety of complex processes that researchers are still investigating. Alex Holehouse, a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Rohit V. Pappu, the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and a team of researchers recently revealed detailed mechanistic insights into how this signaling controls the activity of a regulator of chromatin, a group of molecules that includes DNA, RNA <g class="gr_ gr_8 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="8" data-gr-id="8">and</g> proteins. The team used two models using p300, an enzyme important to cell growth and division and may prevent the growth of cancerous tumors, and showed how cellular signaling, transcription factor activation <g class="gr_ gr_9 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="9" data-gr-id="9">and</g> dimerization controls the activation of p300. The paper was published in <em><a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0621-1">Nature</a> </em>Oct. 15. <br/></p><p><br/></p>Alex Holehouse 2018-10-15T05:00:00ZAlex Holehouse, a postdoctoral researcher in biomedical engineering, was on a team that revealed detailed mechanistic insights into cell signaling.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Researchers-find-new-insight-into-hearing-assessments.aspx945Researchers find new insight into hearing assessments<img alt="" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Barbour_Dennis.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>When in a noisy crowd, it's often easier to understand what someone is saying to us when we can see the speaker's face. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Carleton College found new evidence that may help people who have difficulty following noisy conversations use less effort to do so.</p><p>Dennis Barbour, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University, and Julia F. Strand, a former postdoctoral researcher in Barbour's lab and now an assistant professor of psychology at Carleton College, found in two separate experiments that showing people an abstract visual signal significantly reduced the amount of effort needed to comprehend the speech. Their results, published in <em>Psychonomic Bulletin & Review</em>, confirmed previous experiments that, unlike talking faces, other visual information is usually not helpful to improve a person's speech recognition. Visual shapes modulated by the speech envelope can, however, reduce the overall effort required for this task. This frees up mental resources for other strategies, such as storing more bits of the conversation in memory and better following the gist, if not every word.</p><p>"This finding has important clinical implications, as it suggests that hearing assessments that measure recognition accuracy but do not take into account the cognitive requirements of speech understanding may be missing important information about a patient's listening experience," Strand said. </p><p>Read more about the study <a href="https://featuredcontent.psychonomic.org/overcoming-babble-with-a-bubble-seeing-speech-can-make-language-faster-to-process/">here</a>. <br/></p>Dennis Barbour2018-10-12T05:00:00ZPeople who have difficulty following conversations in noise may need to use less effort, according to new research.