- Pancreatic Cancer
The Cancer Physics and Engineering Laboratory is interested in achieving the long-term survival and well-being of those suffering from a range of gastrointestinal cancers, with particular emphasis on pancreatic cancer. As these cancers are not detected until the time when metastasis may have already occurred, our lab is working on both early detection as well as post-metastatic treatment options. To discover new prognostic and predictive markers we employ 1.) image analysis, 2.) mathematical modeling, and 3.) liquid biopsies/tissue sampling. To develop precision medicine, biomarker-driven treatments, we are investigating the combinations of immune and radiation therapies through 1.) single-cell sequencing, 2.) cytokine profiling, 3.) lineage-tracing, and 4.) biochemical analysis.
A few of the most significant publications from our lab
Computed Tomography–Based Biomarker Outcomes in a Prospective Trial of Preoperative FOLFIRINOX and Chemoradiation for Borderline Resectable Pancreatic Cancer
Effective preoperative regimens and biomarkers for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are lacking. We prospectively evaluated fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX)-based treatment and imaging-based biomarkers for borderline resectable PDAC.
Patients with high-delta tumors had lower 3-year PFS and 3-year OS rates than those with low-delta tumors (both P < 0.05). Patients with type II interface responses had lower three-year PFS and 3-year OS rates than those with type I responses (both P < .001). The full results were published in the journal JCO Precision Oncology.
A Visually Apparent and Quantifiable CT Imaging Feature Identifies Biophysical Subtypes of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a heterogeneous disease with variable presentations and natural histories of disease. We hypothesized that different morphologic characteristics of PDAC tumors on diagnostic computed tomography (CT) scans would reflect their underlying biology.
In localized and metastatic PDAC, quantifying the change in enhancement on CT scans at the interface between tumor and parenchyma (delta) demonstrated that patients with conspicuous (high-delta) tumors had significantly less stroma, higher likelihood of multiple common pathway mutations, more mesenchymal features, higher likelihood of early distant metastasis, and shorter survival times compared with those with inconspicuous (low-delta) tumors. The complete findings were published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.
Deriving physical properties from imaging
Transport properties of pancreatic cancer describe gemcitabine delivery and response
We are developing quantitative methods to characterize the imaging properties of human pancreatic cancer. Our pancreatic cancer research in JCI shows that imaging-derived transport properties of this disease associate with the delivery of, response to, and outcome after cytotoxic therapies.
Development of an Immune-Pathology Informed Radiomics Model for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
We are leveraging immune-pathology features from tissue sections and translating that information into the first immune-informed radiomics model. We have created a web application to facilitate clinical utility.
We hypothesize that this entirely noninvasive model can be used in the current era to further elucidate the prognostic utility of the local immune environment and can be enhanced to predict or monitor response to immunotherapy agents, a subject of ongoing investigation.
PIONEER-Panc: a platform trial for phase II randomized investigations of new and emerging therapies for localized pancreatic cancer
Personalized and effective treatments for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) continue to remain elusive. Novel clinical trial designs that enable continual and rapid evaluation of novel therapeutics are needed. Here, we describe a platform clinical trial to address this unmet need.
To date, PDAC has been treated as a single disease, despite knowledge that there is substantial heterogeneity in disease presentation and biology. It is recognized that the current approach of single arm phase II trials and traditional phase III randomized studies are not well-suited for more personalized treatment strategies in PDAC. The PIONEER Panc platform clinical trial is designed to overcome these challenges and help advance our treatment strategies for this deadly disease.
Radiation Oncology Working Group Co-Chair for International Cholangiocarcinoma Research Network (2018)
NCI New Onset Diabetes (NOD) Cohort Committee Member for Imaging Working Group (2018)
NRG Junior Investigator representative for NCI Hepatobiliary Task Force (2017)
Member of NCI Hepatobiliary Task Force (2017)
Andrew Sabin Family Fellows Award, Andrew Sabin Family Fellows Program (2017-2019)
Shirly Stein Scientific Endowed Research Award (2016)
Project Purple Grant for Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer (2016)
Featured in Oncology magazine "Transport Oncophysics could guide Pancreatic Cancer Treatment" by Jill Delsigne-Russell (2016)
Faculty of 1000 Member (2015)
RSNA Seed Grant (2014)
Research Highlight in Cancer Discovery (2014)
PANCAN-AACR Career Development Award (2014)
Gilbert H. Fletcher Resident Research Award (2014)
Anne Eastland Spears Fellowship for GI Cancer Research (2012, 2013)
Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award (2010)
Research Highlight in Nature Clinical Practice: Rheumatology (2009)
Honorable Mention, Sigma Xi Annual Thesis Award (2008)
3rd place poster at Rice BIOE recruiting weekend poster competition (2006)
2nd place poster at NSF IGERT annual retreat (2006)
NSF IGERT Fellowship (2004)
William W Akers Senior Process Design Award in Chemical Engineering (2001)
BMES Outstanding Undergraduate Research Design Award (2001)
BCM Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Scholarship (2001)
W L Moody Scholarship (1998, 1999)
Robert C Byrd Scholarship (1997-2001)
President's Honor Roll (1997-2001)
Co-Investigator, Improving the Clinical Effectiveness and Understanding of the Biophysical Basis of Proton Therapy: Project 1 - Randomized Clinical Trials to Exploit the Physical and Biophysical Properties of Protons including Reduction in Dose Bath with Protons, 5U19CA021239-38, NIH/NCI, PI - Radhe Mohan/Thomas DeLaney, 9/1/2014-8/31/2019
Co-Investigator, Pancreas Moonshot Flagship 1: Project PANC – Drug and Biomarker Discovery, Drug and Biomarker Discovery, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2015-2018
Principal Investigator, Quantitative EASL as a biomarker of response to radiation in pancreatic and hepatobiliary cancers, Philips Healthcare Sponsored Research Agreement, 2015-2018
Co-Investigator, Imaging and molecular correlates of progression in cystic neoplasms of the pancreas, 5U01CA196403, NIH/NCI, PI - Anirban Maitra, 2015-2020
Co-Principal Investigator, MRI-based investigations into the stromal, immunological, and metabolic properties of pancreatic cancer, General Electric and Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging MI2 Grant, 2015-2020
Co-Investigator, Diagnostic markers of malignant progression in mucinous pancreatic cysts, 16-65-SING, PANCAN Translational Research Grant, PI - Aatur Singhi (UPMC), 2016-2018
Principal Investigator, Quantitative image processing for early detection of pancreatic cancer, Project Purple Grant, 2016-2018
Co-Investigator, A Clinical Validation Center for Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer, 5U01CA200468, NIH/NCI, PI - Anirban Maitra, 2016-2021
Co-Investigator and Co-Project 2 Leader, Center for Immunotherapeutic Transport Oncophysics: Project 2 – Microenvironmental transport of immunotherapy in pancreatic cancer, 5 U54 CA21018102, NIH/NCI, PI - Mauro Ferrari, 2016-2021
Co-Investigator, Optimization and Evaluation of Anatomical Models of Liver Radiation Response, FP00001514, NIH/NCI, PI - Kristy Brock, M.D., 9/1/2018-8/31/2023
Co-Investigator, Imaging and Molecular Correlates of Progression in Cystic Neoplasms of the Pancreas, NIH/NCI 1U01CA196403, PI - Anirban Maitra, 09/15/2015-08/31/2020
Co-Investigator, A Clinical Validation Center for Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer, NIH/NCI 1U01CA200468, PI - Anirban Maitra, 03/01/2016 - 02/28/2021
Co-Principal Investigator, MRI-based investigations of the stromal, immune, and metabolic properties of pancreatic cancer, GE Multi-investigator Research Grant, 01/1/2016-12/31/2020
Principal Investigator, Quantitative Image Analysis For Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer, Project Purple Translational Research Grant, 09/20/2016-08/31/2018
Co-Investigator, Diagnostic Markers of Malignant Transformation in Pancreatic Mucinous Cysts, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Translational Research Grant, Co-PI - Singhi, 07/1/2016-06/30/2018
Principal Investigator, Evaluating qEASL as a biomarker for RT response in hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers, Philips Healthcare Sponsored Research Agreement, 05/15/2015-05/14/2019
Project 2 co-leader, Center for Immunotherapeutic Transport Oncophysics, NCI/Physical Sciences Oncology Network U54CA210181, Co-leader - Ferrari, 8/1/2016-7/31/2021
Co-Investigator, Translational Applications in an Animal Model of Pancreatic Cystic Neoplasm and Cancer, NIH/NCI 1R01CA218004-01A1, Co-Investigator - Maitra, 4/04/2018 –3/31/2019
Principal Investigator, Cellular landscape of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, Khalifa Foundation Grant, 10/1/2018-9/31/2020
Eugene J. Koay, M.D., Ph.D.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Unit Number: 1422
Houston, TX 77030