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June 7th, 2006
Research by scientists based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign may lead to the development of a new breed of “multimodal” contrast agents that could work within a host of medical imaging platforms – from ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) to magnetic resonance imaging and molecular imaging. Use of these new agents may, in turn, significantly improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, according to Kenneth Watkin, a professor in the department of speech and hearing science and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
"I got into this field – which is really nanomedicine – because my area of interest is imaging and head and neck cancer," he said. "And as I would do imaging studies, I would see the true devastation of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to individuals from a psychosocial and a body point of view. So I got to thinking, ‘How could we treat head and neck cancers differently – using fewer chemotoxins?’"
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