Better, faster breast cancer treatment is dream of winners of $100,000 competition at UC

CINCINNATI – A team that's dreaming of better, faster treatment of breast cancer has won the $100,000 prize at University of Cincinnati that 11 teams of eight researchers vied for in a frenetic five-hour process.

Dr. William Barrett, director of the UC Cancer Institute, revealed that the previously anonymous donor of the prize money was the late Carl Linder, Jr., who had asked Barrett to use the money for collaboration and education. Lindner died in 2011.

Led by Dr. Kris Huang, assistant professor of radiation oncology, the winning team proposed shortening the process of diagnosing and treating breast cancer using radiotherapy and nanoparticles.

The current process for treating women afflicted with breast cancer involves screening, followed by imaging, biopsies, pathology review and, finally, treatment. "If you include all of that together, it can take the patient a better part of a year to get through that process," Huang told WCPO.

Huang and his team hope to condense that process through the use of nanotechnology – employing clusters of molecules to first deliver detection agents to cancer cells and then to deliver radiation or chemotherapy. The nanoparticles would be engineered to find their way to the cancer cells through IV treatment.

Depending on where the research leads, use of the nanoparticles could lead to two major improvements in care.

WCPO Insiders can learn more about the winning team and plans for advancements in cancer treatment.

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