Research

Clinical Trials

We conduct innovative in house clinical trials translated from our own laboratory findings, particularly on pancreatic cancer and brain tumors. More information can be found: https://cancer.stonybrookmedicine.edu/cancer-clinical-trials

  1. We carry out radiosurgery and SBRT clinical trials and pioneer the use of high technology treatments for various new indications, under a strict quality assurance program. The goal of clinical trials includes tumor control, increasing survival from cancer and improving the quality of life after such clinical trial treatments.
  2. As a member institution of NRG oncology, we participate actively in the ongoing NRG clinical trials. Of note is that we are the national principal investigator of the randomized trial of spine radiosurgery.

Tumor Biology and Immunology:

The focus of research is neuro inflammation after radiotherapy of brain tumors. We have demonstrated microglial infiltration at the irradiated tumor site and adjacent normal brain tissue. Further based on the published experience of fractionated radiosurgery of glioblastoma and new laboratory finding of immunological reactions we explore in-situ vaccination effect which will act against the brain tumors. The mechanistic studies are being performed in cell culture and animal experiments. We develop new immunotherapy and radiosurgery to treat the glioblastoma as an upfront treatment. These studies are being performed in collaboration with scientists of pharmacology. Our clinician-scientists also have a joint appointment with the Department of Pharmacological Sciences.

 

Normal Tissue Biology:

Most cancer treatments will result in some kind of short term side effects and long-term complications. While acute complications are managed by medication and improve after a short time period, it is the long term sequelae that cause functional disability and lead to long-lasting problems decreasing the quality of life. Some of the examples are scar tissue formation, cognitive deficits and fibrosis of skin or soft tissues. Our research is to explore how these complications occur and to find a method to mitigate the symptoms from the long term complications. We developed an excellent model of cognitive deficit and radiation-induced myelopathy. We explore the neurogenesis, neuroinflammation as well as molecular imaging of the changes after radiation with and without pharmacological and genetic manipulation to mitigate the radiation-induced pathological process.

 

Physics Research:

The broad research base developed by Medical Physics provides considerable flexibility to promote and accommodate the rapid influx of new discoveries and technological developments in physics. As a result, we have ongoing research in every major area of the application of physics to medicine. These areas include:

  • Use of 3D printers to create a patient-specific 3D bolus for external beam therapy
  • Database Verification Using Cryptographic Secure Hash Algorithm
  • Secure and Trustable Electronic Medical Record Sharing Using Blockchain Technology
  • Dosimetric Leaf Gap for High Definition Multi-Leaf Collimator
  • Dose Rate Response of Digital Megavolt Imager (DMI) Detector for Flattening Filter-free Beams
  • Design of HDR Surface Applicator using 3D Printer
  • Diamond Detector for Radiation Detection
  • SBRT PTV HU changes as a predictor
  • Pressure Sensor for SBRT Spine Tx
  • Use e-Compensator for Breast Planning
  • Effects of x-ray and CT image enhancements on the robustness and accuracy of a rigid 3D/2D image registration
  • Image-Guided Localization Accuracy of Stereoscopic Planar and Volumetric Imaging Methods for Stereotactic Radiation Surgery and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
  • A novel approach for establishing near-benchmark CBCT/CT deformable image registrations in prostate cancer radiotherapy
  • Prostate Localization on Daily Cone-Beam Computed Tomography Images
  • Post-Probability of Multivariate Density Using Apparent Diffusion Coefficient for Predicting GBM Overall Survival
  • A Simple Automated Method for Detecting Recurrence in High-Grade Glioma
  • Proton echo-planar spectroscopic imaging with highly effective outer volume suppression using combined presaturation and spatially selective echo dephasing

 

Bioinformatics Research:

In collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Stony Brook Engineering School, we are at the forefront of developing a secure exchange of electronic medical records (EMR) by using blockchain technology. This involves not only the medical records but also exchange of imaging studies and radiation treatment planning records, between the referring doctors and treating physicians with patient’s permission. This technology has the potential to open a new path to telehealth.

 

Other Research Interests:

  • Experimental methods of radiation therapy utilizing the tissue-sparing effects of arrays of parallel, thin or small x-ray or particle beams.  The arrays are referred to as microbeams when thinner than 0.3 mm, or minibeams if they are 0.3 to 0.7 mm thick. The method has been applied to preclinical research in the treatment of the intracranial and subcutaneous tumors as well the spinal cord injury research.
  • X-ray imaging, including the establishment of the performance of the truly monochromatic CT and the development of the CT image reconstruction routine for diffraction-enhanced imaging.•The use of contrast agents including gold nanoparticles to preferentially enhance tumor damage in radiation therapy and in hyperthermia. experimental radiation therapy.