Dr. Ho-Ling Anthony Liu
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Imaging Physics
The focus of my research is to develop and optimize advanced MR neuroimaging methods for improving diagnosis, treatment planning and evaluation of early treatment response of tumors. Two specific directions are:
- Quantitative MRI for characterizing tumor microenvironment: this includes the quantitation of dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC), dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE), arterial spin labeling (ASL), vessel size imaging and BOLD MRI. These MRI methods allow us to assess important properties of tumor microenvironment, such as blood flow, blood volume, vessel caliber, vessel permeability, vessel reactivity, cell density and oxygenation. Through advancing pulse sequences, signal processing and mathematical modeling, we aim to provide accurate and robust quantifications of these physiological parameters in cancer patients.
- Advanced MRI for pre-surgical planning and intra-operative evaluation: this includes advanced functional MRI (fMRI) acquisition/processing strategy and the study of neurovascular coupling of brain activation adjacent to tumors for pre-surgical planning, and the incorporation of functional/physiological imaging for the intra-operative evaluation. For pre-operative planning, fMRI and diffusion-based fiber tractography may help improving surgical outcomes. For intra-operative MRI evaluation, detection of residual tumor is an important aspect. By developing methods to overcome biophysical limitations of MRI methods, we aim to improve robustness, specificity and spatial resolution of advanced neuroimaging applications in brain tumor surgery.