Tumors are complex ecosystems that form and develop under evolutionary pressure imposed by trophic, metabolic, immunological and therapeutic factors. Their influence on shaping tumor microenvironment changes over space and time, a phenomenon known as intratumoral heterogeneity. This spatiotemporal evolution enables tumors to duck from advanced therapies and remains the root cause of treatment resistance and relapse. Hence, biomarkers to dynamically profile tumor evolutions are critically needed for informing personalized cancer management.
Our lab is focusing on developing novel machine learning frameworks to comprehensively characterize spatiotemporal heterogeneity of tumors on their radiographic scans and histopathological slides, and investigate the biological mechanisms that drive the phenotypic differences through radiogenomics studies. We are closely collaborating with other research labs, physician-scientists and clinicians at MD Anderson to tackle the most pressing scientific and clinical challenges in cancer early detection, precision prevention and personalized immunotherapy.