Main Navigation

Quick Links

Academia in Action: ‘Advanced, patient-specific imaging’

Allison Payne says she is “trying to make some small dent in helping people with breast cancer” with her work at the University of Utah. Payne, who joined the university as a professor in the radiology and imaging sciences department in 2011, and her team have designed a breast-specific system for treating breast cancer that completed a first-in-human trial in France with another enrolling at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The system, a focused ultrasound technology, allows clinicians to conduct an ultrasound inside an MRI and noninvasively manipulate tissues in the body.

“We’re trying to bring advanced, patient-specific imaging for the treatment of breast cancer to give women more options to how they’re treated,” Payne said. Hopefully, this new treatment will result in not just another option for patients and clinicians but also a better cosmetic outcome that leaves patients with intact breasts if desired.

The process of developing the technology hasn’t been without difficulty. Payne’s team had to expand their mindsets early on to ensure their product was prepared with all the necessary features, so the device has “the tools and the ability to be able to capture this potential market when the science is backing it up,” Payne said.

When the team took the product to France, Payne realized they “had designed it without considering how the clinicians would interact with the device,” and she should have involved the clinicians earlier on in the process to make sure the product answered the right questions.

“I can chuck a bunch of data at you but what do you need to process this to make it a useful clinical tool,” Payne said. Payne and her team were then able to pivot and revamp the product to focus on the clinicians’ specific needs. “When you’re inventing something totally new and you’re giving it to people that haven’t used it before, there’s going to be a feedback loop that’s going on.”

As research continues, Payne hopes this technology will be able to change the treatment options for all breast cancer patients. In the forefront of her mind, she’s trying to address health disparities by asking, “Can I pivot this technology to something that’s really appropriate for a low resource setting?”

Academia in Action: ‘These are real people’

University of Utah molecular pharmaceutics professor Mingnan Chen and his colleagues published a paper in...

Startup news: The latest out of incubator Altitude Lab, Myriad Genetics and Sera Prognostics

University of Utah startups continue innovating and discovering solutions to today’s unmet needs. Here’s a...

Academia in Action: Collaboration fuels innovation

Guillaume Hoareau joined the University of Utah in July 2019 after the innovation in the...

Startup news: The latest out of Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Salarius Pharmaceuticals, Sarcos and Sera Prognostics

University of Utah startups continue innovating and discovering solutions to today’s unmet needs. Here’s a...

Technology paves way for non-invasive breast cancer treatment

This story was originally published by U of U Health.  By Michael Mozdy — Associate...

Register today: Utah BioBreak May 31 reception

PIVOT Center, along with national sponsors Ballard Spahr and Locust Walk, is hosting a Utah...



Oh, hello!

Contact Form