Dr. Eugene J. Koay
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Radiation Oncology
The Cancer Physics and Engineering Laboratory focuses on (1) the physical properties of cancer and how those relate to their biological underpinnings and (2) the engineering of patient-specific devices to improve cancer outcomes through 3D printing.
With regard to the physical properties of cancer, we have applied radiomics approaches to study the imaging properties of hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers (Koay et al, JCI, 2014; Amer et al , Cancer, 2018; Koay et al, Clin Cancer Res 2018). We collaborate with mathematical modelers to apply physical models of therapeutic delivery (Pascal et al, Proc Nat Acad Sci, 2013) and tumor growth (Koay et al, Clin Cancer Res 2018) to understand how we may derive patient specific parameters to detect cancer earlier, predict treatment response, and improve cancer outcomes.
Our work with 3D printing has focused on methods to create patient-specific devices for radiation oncology applications. For example, we have developed an efficient process to 3D print customized oral stents for patients who undergo radiation therapy for head and neck cancers (Wilke et al, 3D Printing in Medicine, 2017). We have clinical trials to test these devices, as well as research and development to expand the use of patient-specific radiation devices for other body sites, aiming to reduce side effects and increase efficacy of radiation.
Students can expect to gain experience in interdisciplinary research that can be directly translated to the clinic, with the aim of making an impact in the early detection, treatment, and care of patients with cancer.