The central focus of our laboratory is image-guided drug delivery, combining nanovehicles, imaging techniques and methods to enhance delivery. A great challenge in cancer therapy is to deliver efficacious doses of drug to diseased tissue with minimal systemic toxicity. Another challenge is in the development of high-quality imaging protocols for identification of cancerous lesions as well as visualization of drug circulation and accumulation. We approach these problems through image-guided therapy strategies that include multiple imaging modalities (PET, CT, Ultrasound), delivery vehicle designs, targeting approaches, and release mechanisms. By encapsulating cancer therapeutics in particles designed to be stable in circulation and targetable to diseased tissue, we are able to minimize systemic toxicity and maximize drug efficacy in cancer treatment. Ultrasound has proven to be an invaluable tool in our efforts. We have shown that in addition to using ultrasound for obtaining high target-to-background images of delivery vehicles within cancerous lesions, we can use insonation to increase drug release in these localized regions. By merging these technologies, we will develop a translational imaging and therapy capability that will allow us to visualize small metastatic lesions, map tumors and their margins, and combine this imaging with ultrasound-enhanced drug release.
Image-Guided Drug Delivery in Cancer
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