A $1.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute will allow a University of Utah lab and a Salt Lake City startup company to create software to help doctors tailor cancer treatments to individual patients.

Dan Kadrmas, professor of radiology at the university, and colleagues in his lab have developed technologies to use PET (positron emission tomography) imaging to look at multiple aspects of tumor function, such as blood flow and growth rate, simultaneously. The goal is to use that technology to predict which drug therapies will work best in individual patients.

The technology is specifically designed for targeted cancer therapies, which work well in a small percentage of patients. The new imaging software will be used to guide targeted therapies and improve results for patients with a variety of cancers including breast, lung, pancreatic, and brain tumors.

The four-year grant will allow Kadrmas and the company he founded, MultiFunctional Imaging, which works to commercialize technologies developed and patented at the university, to create software that can be used in clinical trials to generate data showing which treatment is more effective. This is a renewal of a previous grant from NCI.

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