Dr. Rakow-Penner’s research focuses on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for women’s cancers. Specifically, she works on imaging breast cancer, cervical cancer, endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer using an advanced diffusion imaging technique called Restriction Spectrum Imaging (RSI). Her most recent results were presented at the 2017 International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, where she demonstrated that RSI detected response to chemotherapy in breast cancer patients more reliably than standard diffusion MRI techniques. In addition to her research, Dr. Rakow-Penner is establishing a women’s imaging initiative at UCSD to increase clinical research support for projects related to women’s imaging across the campus. Such projects include fetal MRI, pelvic floor, endometriosis, pelvic masses, fibroid ablations, etc. The project is in its early phases but will help redefine how we approach research for women’s imaging.
Figure. 10 patients who were imaged with RSI before and after chemotherapy. The color bar is reflective of the Z-score. A higher Z reflects increased likelihood of cancer and a lower Z reflects more likely benign tissue.