Xia Awarded Komen Grant for Breast Cancer Imaging Research

Jun Xia, PhD.

Jun Xia, PhD

Published November 2, 2017

Jun Xia, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has been awarded a $450,000 grant that will help improve screening for women with dense breast tissue.

Has Potential to Help Patients With Dense Breast Tissue


He will use the grant — which was awarded by the Susan G. Komen organization — to further his research on photoacoustic computed tomography, a noninvasive imaging technique that combines light and ultrasound technology.

It has the potential to better identify breast cancer and address an unmet clinical need in patients with dense breast tissue.

“More than 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue. The dense tissue reduces the ability of mammograms to identify cancer from 87 percent to as low as 30 percent. It’s also associated with a higher risk of breast cancer,” Xia says. “We are advancing the photoacoustic technology to solve these problems, thereby identifying cancer earlier and improving the quality of life for people diagnosed with this disease.”

Plans In Place to Image 200 Patients Over 3 Years

The research has also received support from the two largest breast screening centers in the Buffalo area: Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Windsong Radiology.

Xia plans to image 200 patients in these two clinics over three years and develop a photoacoustic cancer scoring system.

“This research is a perfect example how biomedical research can be translated from the lab to the clinic to improve health care for people in Western New York and beyond,” says Albert H. Titus, PhD, professor and chair of biomedical engineering.

This award, which coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, was announced at Komen’s Annual Survivors Luncheon Oct. 7 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.