Nanomedicine for cancer care: role as radio-enhancer and radio-protector

Radiation therapy serves as one of the leading treatment modalities for cancer therapy due to its precision and noninvasiveness. It relies extensively on the ability to generate reactive oxygen species (free radicals) with the capacity of producing DNA damage. Damaged cells may undergo apoptosis due to genomic instability. This process can be extremely catastrophic for treated cancer cells as well as surrounding healthy tissue. A popular theme in the field of radiation oncology has been to limit the collateral cell damage often associated with using new technologies. The use of nanotechnology aided radiotherapy is an emerging technique use to increase radio-sensitization and to improve cellular targeting. Thus the nanoparticles —both the metallic and non-mantellic nanoparticles show promise in decreasing collateral damage and patient’s fractions.

Sayeda Yasmin-Karim, MD, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Radiation Oncology at BWH since April 2016. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of Rochester in New York focusing her work on diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer from circulatory cancer cells where she earned a pre-doctoral training award from the Department of Defense (DOD). Prior to this she earned MS in Immunology from Long Island University, New York and Medicine from Chittagong Medical College, Bangladesh. Her current research focuses on development of a treatment model for local and metastatic tumors by synergic action of radiation, immunology, and nanotechnology. She earned “Best in Physics” award from American Association of Physicist in Medicine (AAPM 2017), Research Excellence Award at the annual Discover Brigham 2017, and Excellence in Mentoring award from BWH Postdoctoral Association 2018.