Oncology is the branch of science that deals with cancer. Several forms of cancer exist; all of them involve unregulated cell growth, forming malignant tumors that can invade other parts of the body. Cancer statistics report that over one in three women and one in two men will develop some form of cancer during their life. Prostate and breast cancer have the highest incidence in men and in women, respectively. Nowadays, one in four people dies of cancer, with lung cancer showing the highest mortality. Timely diagnosis and intervention are crucial.
Our challenge is therefore to contribute to timely cancer diagnosis, possibly enabling minimally invasive intervention through guided focal therapy. To this end, imaging and, in particular, functional imaging, are essential tools. Dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging are the adopted imaging techniques. As cancer growth and aggressiveness often relate to angiogenesis, i.e., to the development of chaotic microvascular structures, advanced modeling of the complex hemodynamic characteristics of angiogenic microvasculature is used aimed at cancer localization and grading. Contrast agents that are targeted to angiogenic expressions are also studied, aiming to boost the accuracy of the developed diagnostic methods.