Cameron University guest speaker to present diagnostic information for retinoblastoma

The Cameron University chapter of the American Chemical Society and the Wichita Falls-Duncan section of the American Chemical Society will present Dr. Bryan Shaw, Assistant Professor of chemistry at Baylor University. He will share the personal story of how he and his wife diagnosed retinoblastoma, a type of cancer, in their son after noticing something unusual in the child’s baby pictures. The presentation, scheduled for Tuesday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 100 of the Sciences Complex, is open to the public at no charge.

During his presentation, titled “Digital Camera as Reflectance Spectrophotometer: Colorimetric Analysis of Leukocaria in 'Baby Pictures' of a Child with Retinoblastoma,” Shaw will discuss the work he and his wife did in diagnosing retinoblastoma in his own child. He has shared this work with physicians, and the diagnostic technique has been adopted by the medical community.

Retinoblastoma (Rb) is a rapidly developing childhood cancer that forms in the retina and can strike from the time a child is in the womb up to 5 years of age. During flash photography, Rb tumors reflect visible light and cause "white-eye" or leukocoria. The diagnosis of Rb is frequently initiated by a parent's concern over such photographs.

With no quantitative definition or scale of leukocoria to consult, Shaw developed a diagnostic tool to quantify the hue, saturation and value (HSV) of leukocoria form by using more than 7,000 different photographs of a child with retinoblastoma in both eyes. He determined that different ocular sets of retinoblastoma tumors can produce different degrees of leukocoria. The resulting scale of leukocoria is useful in the clinical interpretation of a leukocoric image.

Shaw received his B.S. in biochemistry and biophysics from Washington State University and his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles. He performed post-doctoral research at Harvard University. In addition to research in leukocoria/retinoblastoma, Shaw conducts fundamental and applied research in several areas of chemistry, including the development of new molecular therapies for the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease.

For more information, contact the Cameron University Department of Physical Sciences at 580-581-2246.

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February 15, 2013

PR#13-030