Immune System Modulation
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An Individualized Treatment Plan

Just as breast cancer is different from colon cancer or lung cancer, each person with breast cancer is different from the next person with breast cancer. The Care Team at UC Irvine recognizes the uniqueness of each breast cancer patient and uses cutting edge diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment modalities to tailor its approach to every person. In addition to the standard use of molecular tumor profiling and a myriad of clinical tests and examinations, UC Irvine utilizes new technologies in breast tissue imaging to “see” the breast cancer’s characteristics and to use that information for tailored treatment planning. The specific therapies, use of radiation, surgical options, and the combination of multiple approaches to treatment will be reviewed and planned by you and your Care Team.

Dr. David Hsiang, in a clinical trial available only at UC Irvine , and in collaboration with scientists at the Beckman Laser Institute (BLI), is testing a new technology called the Laser Breast Scanner (LBS). The goal of the study is to determine whether doctors can use harmless light, through the use of lasers, in order to create an optical signature of a patient’s breast tumor. It is Dr. Hsiang’s hope that the individual characteristics of the patient’s breast tumor, like its density, oxygen and hemoglobin content, and size, will be measurable by the laser scanner. This information can then be used, along with other factors, to choose the best treatment regimen for the patient. The optical technology has the advantage of non-invasiveness and a complete absence of pain related to the scanning.

Dr. Lydia Su, UC Irvine physicist and researcher, is investigating the use of contrast enhanced MRI in breast imaging. MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a commonly available imaging modality. It can provide 3-dimensional coverage of both breasts and is considered the most sensitive imaging modality for women with dense breasts, breast implants, or scar tissue in the breasts. The MRI’s performed at UC Irvine within these clinical studies offer the added component of special contrast agents, which are used to enhance or highlight different characteristics of the breast tumor. These characteristics would otherwise be undetectable or underappreciated. MRI scans performed in this study are also completely free to the patient and insurance company. The information gained by contrast enhanced MRI’s can be used by you and your doctor to better tailor your treatment plan or more precisely guide pre-operative planning.

Drs. Jeffrey V. Kuo, M.D. and Nilam S. Ramsinghani, M.D have provide individualized conformational treatment that limits the toxicity to adjacent normal breast tissues. The state of the art advanced PET/CT and dedicated Breast Aurora MRI equipment available at UC Irvine permits Drs. Kuo and Ramsinghani to interface their equipment with the collected imaging data to design precise radiation strategies that are more patient friendly, less toxic, and yet provide optimal anti-tumor effect. This capacity to integrate data from multiple sources and modalities is absolutely critical for optimal individualized breast cancer treatment. Their departmental website can be found at http://www.ucihs.uci.edu/radonc for more information.

Learn more in the Research & Clinical Trials section.

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