Research Highlight

Pancreatic inflammation is readily detected using MRI following the injection of Ferumoxytol. Here the Ferumoxytol accumulation (false-colored) is overlaid on T1-weighted images of the abdomen. Source:

T1-weighted imaging of primary pancreatic adenocarcinoma using magnetic ferumoxytol nanoparticles

Ferumoxytol is an iron-based super-paramagnetic nanoparticle that is detectable by MRI. It has been previously clinically approved as a drug treatment for anemia in adult patients with chronic kidney disease. Ferumoxytol's magnetic properties and relative safety has led it to be introduced into imaging techniques to track disease progression. A study showed it to effectively show pancreatic inflammation in patient with type 1 diabetes, leading researchers to describe a new, non-invasive method of tracking the progression of the disease. Ferumoxytol has also now been shown to be an effective contrast agent in MR imaging for tumor delineation after neoadjuvant (pre-operative) therapy in patients afflicted with primary pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The administration of ferumoxytol prior to scanning provides more distinct margins in patients scheduled to undergo a Whipple's procedure. Further research is now being done to exam ferumoxytol's effectiveness in tumor delineation on T1-vibe MRI sequences. It is envisioned that this research will drastically improve the ability of radiologists to image tumors and provide more specific and exact delineations for the surgical removal of pancreatic carcinomas.



Trainee Research

CaNCURE provides trainees with a 6-month hands-on research experience and one-on-one mentoring by leading researchers in cancer nanomedicine.   Projects performed by current and past participants include:

Uptake and localization of nanoparticles in prostate and lung cancer cells as a function of time and nanoparticle type

Capture of circulating tumor DNA through the use of biotinylated poly-lysine affixed to gold nanoparticles

Quantification of SPION accumulation in tumors using positive-contrast MRI

Implementation of novel MR-based attenuation correction in PET/MR pelvic scans

Longitudinal assessment of tumor heterogeneity during immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma

Nanomedicine for Safe Healing of Bone Trauma

Quantitative Multimodal Imaging of Tumor Response to Radiation

Targeting WASp using Wiskostatin-gold nanoparticles

In vivo imaging of targeted drug delivery to HER2 positive cancer cells

miRNA analysis in mouse model of metastatic breast cancer. (Proj 2) The inhibition of PD-L1 on a Pan02 cell line w/ siRNA-nanodrug & gemcitabine treatment

Investigating the use of iron chelator deferoxamine (DFO)-bearing PEG-like nanoprobes as a multifunctional agent for cancer therapy and PET imaging

Biological mechanisms of gold nanoparticle-enhanced radiation therapy of prostate cancer

Identification of novel therapeutic targets of the Notch1 signaling pathway

Inhibiting DNA repair after nanoparticle-amplified radiation therapy

Development of a Point of Care Assay for Detecting High Risk HPV in Resource Limited Settings

Analysis of DREAM and E2F1 Competition for Cell Cycle Promoters during G1.

Nanoencapsulation of tyrosine kinase inhibitors and their effects on pathway inhibition

Combined delivery of targeted liposomal chemotherapeutics and photodynamic therapy to treat pancreatic cancer

Pharmacokinetic analysis of changes in temozolomide distribution after antiangiogenic treatment of glioblastoma

Optimizing murine cells for in vitro modeling of high-grade serous ovarian cancer

Localized chemo- and chemo-radiation for the treatment of prostate cancer

Delivery of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles via Biodegradable PLGA Dissolving Microneedles for Sustainable Release

Targeting CXCR4/SDF-1a using phytochemicals to inhibit progression and metastasis of pancreatic cancer

Clinical immunotherapy application in metastatic glioblastoma

Co-delivery of protective substrate and chemotherapy drugs via lipid Bilayer Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles

Soleil Doggett (Biology, '16) talks to her fellow peers about her research on oxygenating tumors to stimulate the anti-tumor immune response.


Trainee e-portfolios

Photo credit: Tom Kates Photography

While on co-op, trainees document their research in an e-portfolio.  This gives trainees the opportunity to provide regular updates on their research progress, reflect on training they are receiving, and explain how their research fits within the field of cancer nanomedicine.  These research e-portfolios can be accessed through individual trainee profiles.  The complete collection may be found here.

Check out this month’s featured e-portfolios by Rachel Fontana and Jordan Harris!


Presentation at CaNCURE Nanomedicine Day

At the completion of their co-op, trainees are provided with the opportunity to present their research to a wider audience.  In our 1st annual CaNCURE Nanomedicine Day, trainees prepared interactive, digital posters to display on electronic poster boards.  Over 100 faculty, students, and researchers attended our first event!

Check out the news article and congrats to all the poster winners!

Jordan Harris: Most Innovative Cancer Research Award
Jeremy Thong: Best Undergraduate Research Poster Award
Craig Pille: Most Promising Translational Research Award
Bryan Kynnap: Most Promising Basic Science Award
Jordan Harris: Top Chemical Engineering Poster Award