Texas MRC Research Projects

 

The aim of this project is to develop a novel therapeutic device for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a disease that is currently extremely difficult to treat, the 5-year survival rate being 17%. We endeavor to markedly improve therapy by preparing a nano-vehicle with the benefit of enhanced tumor uptake and targeting.

Principal Investigator:

Anthony J. Di Pasqua, PhD UNTHSC
Assistant Professor – Pharmaceutical Science
Anthony.DiPasqua@unthsc.edu  // Biography (more…)

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Currently, there is no means to determine if chemotherapy drugs will be effective inside a cancer patient’s body before they are applied.  Also, given that most of the chemotherapy drugs are toxic, the therapy may not be effective to stop migration of cancer cells while patients suffer painfully from the toxicity of drugs.   Our microfluidic platform will be used as a rapid screening assay for anti-metastasis drugs using patient’s own serum in order to identify potential agents with inhibitory effects to stop cell migration in vitro. The molecular targets will be applied in the assay to find the optimal combination of drugs to not only stop the proliferation of cancer cells but also to inhibit the cells from migration. The outcome can determine the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs for each individual patient, thereby leading to a better patient-specific chemotherapy.

Principal Investigator:

J.-C. Chiao, Ph.D., UTA
Professor-Electrical Engineering, Adj. Associate Professor-Internal Medicine
jcchiao@uta.edu  // 817-272-1337 // Biography (more…)

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Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers; it accounts for nearly 40% of all cancer cases, and its incidence is increasing. Suspicious skin lesions are often biopsied, a procedure that is unpleasant for the patient and slow to yield diagnostic results. In addition, the rate of unnecessary biopsies is as high as 50% or higher, causing needless mental stress and health care burden. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop a fast, accurate, and noninvasive detection method to minimize unnecessary biopsies as well as to improve false negatives that are missed by dermatologists. The hypothesis for this study is that a portable, high spatial resolution, hyper-spectral imaging system (HSIS) can be implemented, validated and translated to clinics for fast and accurate detection of skin cancer, possibly as an electronic second opinion. (more…)

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The definitive procedure for breast cancer diagnosis is needle biopsy, either using stereotactic x-ray or ultrasound guidance. Each method of guidance has its advantages and disadvantages, and for experienced clinicians both methods can provide an excellent specificity for diagnosis. We recognize however a growing preference for ultrasound-guided biopsy, despite the obvious limitation that ultrasound imaging is operator dependent. Our goal is to minimize the operator-dependence of ultrasound-guided needle breast biopsy by developing a haptic-interface for the procedure that will provide the clinician with additional guidance in completing the procedure. In addition, we reason that the system will also serve as a trainer and simulator for improving the needle biopsy skills in residents and fellows. (more…)

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Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of malignancy-related mortality in males. Prostate cancer cells spread to liver, lungs, and especially bone via the blood stream and form secondary tumors in these organs. Bone metastases are incurable and a major complication of prostate cancer patients. Cancer cell motility towards increasing concentrations of certain chemicals plays an important role in metastases. Several chemicals such as chemokines and growth factors are believed to influence the migration of prostate cancer cells. Despite improvement in clinical response rates with newly developed targeted multi-kinase inhibitors, death due to metastases remain major impediments to its cure. With a focus on the development of new inhibitors, particularly, RLIP76 blockade has been shown highly effective. The findings are potentially of major clinical significance because they promise a unique, highly effective and functionally cancer-specific targeted therapy.  (more…)

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