UTA teams with UT Southwestern on CPRIT-funded lung cancer project


Customized treatment for lung cancer patients


Credit: UT Arlington

A researcher at The University of Texas at Arlington has teamed up with a colleague at UT Southwestern Medical Center on a biopsy image analysis that will help pinpoint care for lung cancer patients.

Junzhou Huang, associate professor of computer science and engineering, is working with UT Southwestern’s Guanghua Xiao on a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) project using machine-learning algorithms and computational biology to refine lung cancer treatments.

Huang’s share of the $885,185 grant is $330,649 over three years. His focus is on developing algorithms for predicting clinical outcomes using automated pathological image analyses. Huang provides expertise in the machine learning and image processing sectors. The process uses pattern recognition techniques in the biopsy to understand various cells and patterns.

Xiao, a UT Southwestern professor in the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics, is the lead investigator.

“These algorithms will predict clinical outcomes in lung cancer patients,” Huang said. “The developed algorithms will integrate pathological images with molecular profiling data from those patients for a comprehensive prediction model that will lead to tailored treatments for individual patients. Our ultimate goal is to customize patient treatment.”

Hong Jiang, chair and professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, said Huang’s work is an integral part of UTA’s research portfolio.

“Lung cancer is a leading cause of death in the United States and the world,” Jiang said. “Better prediction methods can lead to better patient care, a more specific care. We’re fortunate to have a partner and sister institution in UT Southwestern. Dr. Huang’s areas of expertise are custom fit for this project.”

CPRIT was established in 2007 to expedite innovation in cancer research and product development, and to enhance access to evidence-based prevention programs throughout the state. Voters authorized the state to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking research and prevention programs and services in Texas.


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