Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) Associate Professor Horacio Gomez-Acevedo, Ph.D., has been selected to receive one of five grants from the Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program for 2022-23.
Dr. Gomez-Acevedo’s project title is “Framework for Breast Tumor Shape and Implications for Staging and Deep Learning Segmentation of MRIs.”
Dr. Gomez-Acevedo, who is also director for the DBMI Graduate Program, will investigate cancer tumor shapes as a more refined descriptor than the usual measurements of tumor size for breast cancer staging. With co-investigators Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith, M.D., and Ronda Henry-Tillman, M.D., the end goal is to implement a framework called Elastic Shape Analysis (ESA) for the characterization of breast cancer tumors from MRIs.
“This work will allow us to compare tumors’ shape in a unified and statistically sound manner and see connections between shape with other clinical variables,” said Dr. Gomez-Acevedo.
Ultimately, this work would provide other measures of tumor shape that can potentially be relevant for tumor staging, thereby impacting cancer treatment. The study would involve three-dimensional analysis of tumor shapes, which would then be classified according to their geometric characteristics. With tumor shapes categorized and well defined, we could expand the collection with artificially generated tumors that would greatly improve deep learning models for automated identification of breast cancer from MRIs in an additional study.
About the Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program
The Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program is celebrating its 25th year of funding breakthrough research by Arkansas scientists studying breast cancer. Since the program’s inception in 1997 with the passage of The Arkansas Breast Cancer Act, the annual grants program has awarded nearly $10 million in direct research support. UAMS administers the program.
Five new recipients, including four UAMS scientists, have been selected to receive grants totaling $450,000 for the 2022-23 grant year. Three of the investigators seek to better understand causes of and potential therapeutic targets for metastatic breast cancer, which accounts for most breast cancer deaths.