Mentor: Wilfred Ngwa, PhD (Brigham and Women's Hospital)
In the United States breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women. Throughout a woman's lifetime there is 1 in 8 chance that she will develop breast cancer. My research, using breast cancer cell lines, will consist of both in-vitro and in-vivo experiments investigating the effects of immunoadjuvant nanoparticles (gold nanoparticles (GNPs) + Anti-CD40) in priming the abscopal effect during radiotherapy. The abscopal effect is an effect whereby treating one tumor can lead to regression of cancer at distant untreated sites (e.g cancer metastasis). GNPs have been shown to enhance radiotherapy. While Anti-CD40, is an antibody that is responsible for an anti-tumor immune response that can boost the abscopal effect. The completed research could avail the development of nanoparticle-aided radio-immunotherapy, with potential impact in curative treatment of breast cancer patients with metastatic disease.
The figure displays the abscopal effect, the treatment of a primary tumor and it’s affects of regression on distant metastatic tumors. Gold nanoparticles (GNP) are injected into the primary tumor. GNP then results in an enhancement of the effect of the radiation on the primary tumor. With the addition of Anti-CD40, an immune response is generated resulting in the regression of distant metastatic sites. Source: Moreau M, et al. Priming the Abscopal Effect Using Multifunctional Smart Radiotherapy Biomaterials Loaded with Immunoadjuvants. 2018;8:56 Source: