UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center scientists subsequent month will start testing a digital nanosensor that lights up cancer tissue to see whether or not it may enhance the accuracy of cancer surgeries, thereby lowering cancer recurrence and surgical morbidity.
The nanosensor, which works by reacting to low pH, illuminates cancer like a lightbulb, sharply distinguishing cancerous tissue from wholesome tissue, and making it simpler for surgeons to take away cancer cells whereas leaving wholesome, useful tissue intact.
“We synthesized an imaging probe that stays dark in normal tissues but switches on in solid tumors, behaving like a digital sensor with binary readouts between the two states,” mentioned Dr. Jinming Gao, Professor of Pharmacology and Otolaryngology with the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center, which is recognizing its 75th anniversary this yr. “Cancer is a diverse set of diseases, but it does have some universal features. As solid tumors ramp up, they eat more glucose and secrete lactic acid, so the microenvironment around the cancer cells is acidic.”
Dr. Gao and surgeon Dr. Baran Sumer, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology with the Simmons Cancer Center, developed the sensor, and have built-in it with a scientific digicam that permits the surgeon to see the fluorescent areas. Their nanosensor not solely lights up cancer, however suppresses the sign in regular tissue, main to a pointy line between cancer and wholesome tissue. It is predicted to be efficient in all stable tumors.
“This new digital nanosensor-guided surgery has several advantages for patients, including more accurate removal of tumors and greater preservation of normal tissue. These advantages can limit the extent of surgery and improve quality of life and, potentially, patient survival,” mentioned Dr. Sumer, who leads the Head and Neck Oncology group on the Simmons Cancer Center.
First to be handled with the brand new know-how will be breast cancer sufferers on the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, which is collaborating in the scientific trials. Patients will be intravenously injected with the nanosensor treatment about 12 hours earlier than surgical procedure. Tumors will gentle up and stay fluorescent for one to two days. Dr. Sumer and Dr. Gao count on to have knowledge on breast cancer and colon cancer surgeries by fall, then hope to transfer on to Phase II scientific trials in the U.S. and elsewhere.
“What we have is a digital probe that might eventually lead to more exact surgeries so that solid-cancer surgeries would not need to be followed up with radiation or chemotherapy,” mentioned Dr. Sumer.
The nanosensor know-how and the digicam used to see the fluorescent cells are being developed by OncoNano Medicine, Inc., which was the recipient of a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas product improvement award to develop this know-how. Dr. Gao and Dr. Sumer are paid consultants and scientific co-founders of OncoNano Medicine, Inc. UT Southwestern Medical Center has licensed the know-how to OncoNano Medicine and has a monetary curiosity in the analysis.
Illuminating cancer: Researchers invent a pH threshold sensor to enhance cancer surgical procedure