TARGETING THE ALTERED PHYSICS OF CANCER
We work within the growing field of "Physical Oncology". We put a significant amount of effort towards developing treatment paradigms that view the altered physics of tumors as therapeutic opportunities rather than as hindrances to the delivery of more conventional therapies. We are particularly interested in leveraging pulsed electric field therapies to revert the malignant phenotype, either through direct tumor cell killing, or induction of anti-tumor signaling programs. Some example topics are below.
TARGETED TUMOR ABLATION
We have developed a pulsed electric field (PEF) ablation method that is capable of preferentially destroying malignant cells based on their altered morphologies, particularly the enlarged nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio (NCR) that is often a hallmark of malignant cells. We are now leveraging this approach for treatment of highly infiltrative neoplasms, such as glioblastoma (GBM), in both small and large animal cancers. This work is carried out in close collaboration with the Davalos lab at Virginia Tech.
Based on intriguing in vivo evidence for an anti-tumor immune response following certain classes of pulsed electric field (PEF) therapies, we are studying the fundamental cell signaling responses to non-lethal versions of these treatments. We have recently demonstrated induction of immune profiles in vitro that are known to be tumor suppressive in the tumor microenvironment (TME) in vivo.
RECENT RELATED PUBLICATIONS
Jill W. Ivey, Eduardo L. Latouche, Megan L. Richards, Glenn J. Lesser, Waldemar Debinski, Ravael V. Davalos, Scott S. Verbridge
Biophysical Journal, 2017, v. 113, (2), 472-480
Ishan Goswami, Sheryl Coutermarsh-Ott, Ryan G. Morrison, Irving C. Allen, Rafael V. Davalos, Scott S. Verbridge, Lissett R. Bickford
Bioelectrochemistry, 2017, v. 113, 42-50
Jill W. Ivey, Mohammad Bonakdar, Akanksha Kanitkar, Rafael V. Davalos, Scott S. Verbridge
Cancer Letters, 2016, v. 380, (1), 330-339