New Technologies for Detection

At Chicago, researchers are making major contributions to cancer screening and diagnosis, discovering new biomarkers, improving the computer technologies that aid radiologists as they analyze images, and exploring the new frontiers created by emerging technologies.

Genomic experimentalists in the Institute for Genomics & Systems Biology have discovered biomarkers that guide diagnosis and treatment of aggressive, estrogen-positive breast cancer and the most common form of kidney cancers.

The way the discoveries were made—using advanced computer modeling to integrate data from multiple screening technologies encompassing thousands of molecular interactions—involved a new form of research called systems biology. This emerging approach, being pioneered at the University of Chicago, is believed to hold the key to solving some of the toughest challenges in genomic cancer research.

Computer-assisted detection was pioneered at the University of Chicago Medicine. Cancer physicians are working with medical physicists to apply its power to three of the biggest challenges in medical screening: early detection of lung cancer, assessing the risk of an early form of breast cancer called ductile carcinoma in situ, and improving the reliability of virtual colonoscopy.

UCM Pioneers Cancer Prevention Clinics

The University of Chicago Cancer Risk Clinic, founded in 1992, was the first in Illinois to provide comprehensive preventive services.

Today, more than 3,000 patients are closely monitored for the very earliest signs of breast, ovarian, and gastrointestinal cancers. These patients include both cancer survivors with a high risk of recurrence and people who have a family history or personal genetic profile that make them particularly vulnerable to the disease.

Building upon the success of the Cancer Rick Clinic, the University launched the High-Risk Lung Cancer Clinic in 2006, one of a handful nationwide exclusively devoted to improving the early diagnosis and prevention of lung cancer.