Image-Guided Non-Invasive Therapeutic Energy (IGNITE) Program
Current cancer treatments often fail because of incomplete treatment, and therefore precise image guidance is needed for treatment planning, monitoring, and post-treatment assessment. Mutagenic effects of ionizing radiation pose a great risk to children, restricting applicability of computed tomography (CT) and X-ray imaging in pediatrics and motivating development of magnetic resonance- and ultrasound-guided therapies. Surgery-associated stress and trauma often result in long-lasting psychological problems in children, highlighting a need for minimally-invasive and completely non-invasive treatment methods.
The IGNITE program focuses on addressing current clinical challenges in pediatric surgery and oncology, with an emphasis on replacement of surgery with non-invasive techniques to minimize stress and trauma caused by surgical procedures.
Recent advances in minimally invasive treatments, coupled with use of image guidance for more precise delivery of therapy have the potential to improve both overall treatment efficacy and the quality of life for pediatric patients. Further research in this area is poised to accelerate post-procedure recovery, reducing pain and minimizing surgery-associated trauma. The treatment does not involve ionizing radiation exposure, which has a high likelihood of affecting children, primarily by causing cancer. In some cases, non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures may also provide ways to spare limbs and avoid disfigurement, or to allow effective treatment of areas not amenable to surgical intervention.
The mission of the IGNITE program is to improve the quality of life and outcomes for pediatric patients through development and clinical introduction of novel minimally invasive and noninvasive surgery technologies and combination therapy approaches.
We are dedicated to a vision of full integration of efficacious minimally invasive and noninvasive treatments in pediatric surgery and oncology.