Department Seminar: Imaging Biomarkers for Precision Medicine in Locally Advanced Breast Cancer 11/14 12-1pm

Professor William T. Tran

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and University of Toronto

Imaging Biomarkers for Precision Medicine in Locally Advanced Breast Cancer

Date: Wednesday November 14th 12:00 – 13:00

Location: LAS 3033

Lunch will be provided.


Guidelines from the American National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommend neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) to patients with locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) to downstage tumors before surgery. However, only a small fraction (15-17%) of LABC patients achieve complete pathologic response (pCR), i.e. no residual tumor in the breast, after treatment. Measuring tumor response during neoadjuvant chemotherapy can potentially help physicians adapt treatment thus, potentially improving the pCR rate.

Recently, imaging biomarkers that are used to measure the tumor’s functional and biological features have been studied as pre-treatment markers for pCR or as an indicator for intra-treatment tumor response. Also, imaging biomarkers have been the focus of intense research to characterize tumor heterogeneity as well as to advance our understanding of the principle mechanisms behind chemoresistance. Advances in investigational radiology are moving rapidly to high-resolution imaging, capturing metabolic data, performing tissue characterization and statistical modelling of imaging biomarkers, with an endpoint of personalized medicine in breast cancer treatment. In this seminar, we present studies within the framework of imaging biomarkers used to measure breast tumor response to chemotherapy.


Dr. Tran completed a B.Sc. in Anatomy and Cell Biology and specialty training in radiotherapy at McGill University and McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. He then completed an M.Sc., then a PhD in biomedical imaging and cancer radiomics at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. He returned to complete his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto. Dr. Tran has held successive research and clinical positions with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, The Montreal Jewish General Hospital, McGill University and Genome Quebec. He was recently appointed as full scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute, cross appointed to Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and as assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at University of Toronto. Dr. Tran also holds visiting professor status at the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom and is adjunct professor at Ryerson University and York University. Dr. Tran’s research focuses on developing better imaging techniques and imaging biomarkers to improve breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

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