UNC/NC State Joint BME Department Research Assistant Professor Virginie Papadopoulou and her colleagues at Dayton Lab are exploring the use of ultrasound and microbubbles in detecting and treating cancer. For decades, researchers have been analyzing the use of microbubbles for a variety of purposes beyond decompression sickness in scuba divers, such as emergency lung function, restoring memory in Alzheimer’s patients and at UNC for treating cancer.
For Papadopoulou there is an obvious connection between improving techniques in ultrasound for studying cancer and decompression sickness: “The thing that brings everything together,” she says, “is how you can apply the same technology, which is ultrasound, to study the extreme physiology adaptation in diving and the extreme environment of the cancer.”
In May of 2018, the Dayton Lab and researchers at Duke University, the N.C State College of Veterinary Science, the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center, and the University of Colorado at Boulder were awarded a five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to use this technique in treating dogs that have been diagnosed with sarcoma. They hope that successful trials will move them one step closer to treatment in humans. You can read more here