Cancer Imaging Network of Texas

Diagram of the overall relationship of CIN-TX to other state-wide networks and to the other Centers of Excellence envisioned within CIN-TX

The overall relationship of CIN-TX to other state-wide networks and to the Centers of Excellence envisioned under CIN-TX.

The goals of the Cancer Imaging Network of Texas (CIN-TX) are to provide state-wide coordination of infrastructure and resources utilization, and to coordinate efforts to develop, clinically translate and facilitate the commercialization of novel imaging agents, methods and instrumentation for different imaging modalities for the diagnosis, staging and monitoring of anti-cancer therapies.

CIN-TX will develop the foundation for the Texas-wide Imaging Informatics Network. This network will support research and clinical trials in imaging as well as the Clinical Trials Network of Texas (CTN-TX). It also will integrate with the Texas Cancer Research Informatics Consortium (PI: Elmer Bernstam, M.D, University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences, Houston), the Drug Discovery Network (PI: Peter Davies, M.D., Ph.D, University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston), Computational Biology Training (PI: Montgomery Pettit, Ph.D., University of Houston) and several other emerging cancer research and prevention network initiatives.

CIN-TX Initiatives

Center of Excellence in PET/CT(MR) Imaging of Cancer

The coordinated efforts of the CIN-TX steering committee resulted in a decision to approach the development of CIN-TX in a step-wise manner, based on the uniqueness of the currently existing infrastructure and the immediate needs of both pre-clinical and clinical research, in particular imaging modalities. As its first initiative, the CIN-TX Steering Committee decided to establish a state-wide Center of Excellence in PET/CT(MR) Imaging of Cancer, which is spearheaded by Juri G. Gelovani, M.D., Ph.D., Chair, Department of Experimental Diagnostic Imaging, MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Center of Excellence in Metabolic Imaging of Cancer

Another CIN-TX initiative is to establish a Center of Excellence in Metabolic Imaging of Cancer at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, under the leadership of Dean Sherry, Ph.D. The overall goal of that COE will be to further develop a novel modality of hyperpolarized NMR spectroscopic imaging (HNMRSI), which is currently not ready for wide-spread utilization in clinical research, and to develop novel C13-labeled agents for HNMRS imaging of cancer metabolic biomarkers. Dr. Sherry will be submitting a separate multi-investigator grant application for the COE in Metabolic Imaging of Cancer, which will include co-Investigators from several other institutions in Texas.

Future Centers of Excellence

Additional COEs that focus on other imaging modalities are being developed by other groups of leaders. These COEs will specialize in ultrasound, optical, intravital or photo-acoustic imaging, and in bioengineering of imaging devices.

CIN-TX Goals

  • Provide outreach programs to other cancer imaging investigators across the State with similar interests and expertise in new imaging technologies. This will be done, in part, by developing a CIN-TX web site that lists all research sites, research groups and individual investigators in Texas with expertise in cancer imaging. The Web site will be a resource for lists of specialized imaging equipment and points of contact at each CPRIT-funded site.
  • Provide ready access to specialized imaging equipment to all investigators participating in CIN-TX. A simple mechanism will be required for each imaging facility that allows access to specialized imaging equipment to all other investigators within CIN-TX. Charges for use of equipment will be identical for all users, internal and external to each facility.
  • Provide support to Clinical Trials Network of Texas by providing the infrastructure, personnel, and expertise for conducting imaging studies in patients involved in Phase I, II and III therapeutic clinical trials.
  • Provide access to researchers and clinicians with approved clinical research protocols to image databases for data mining through the Texas Cancer Research Informatics Consortium (TCRIC).
  • Provide access to cancer imaging experts to receive advice about transitioning new scientific discoveries in cancer imaging from the bench-top to appropriate animal models, testing, and imaging agent development opportunities.
  • Provide training mechanisms for clinical faculty to be trained in the latest imaging technologies and to get involved with cancer imaging trials.
  • Train the next generation of research scientists and engineers through the following channels:
    • Holding an annual didactic workshop on cancer imaging to teach fundamentals and describe the latest imaging advances
    • Providing a mechanism to cross-train students and post-doctoral fellows between academic and/or company laboratories in various aspects of cancer imaging
    • Hosting the Annual Cancer Imaging Symposium and Workshop
  • Coordinate and foster research and development efforts of government agencies and foundations within Texas and partner with Texas biotechnology, bioengineering and pharmaceutical enterprises.