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Optical imaging guided resection and photodynamic therapy of glioma with targeted photoactivable agents


Project Description Glioblastoma (GBM) is a devastating disease with dismal statistics for survival (2?5% overall). Recurrent disease responsible for most mortality is local (95%) few mm from the resection bed. Complete surgical resection is rarely feasible due to the invasive growth of GBM cells into normal brain tissue surrounding the bulk tumor. Moreover, these infiltrative cells are highly migratory and exhibit biochemical alterations that give rise to treatment resistance. Leveraging the significant increase (~28%) in survival time using fluorescence guided resection (FGR) followed by photodynamic therapy (PDT, a photochemistry based therapy) and our and others works on mechanistically designed PDT-based combination therapies to treat drug-resistant cancer cells, we propose to specifically target the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in infiltrative GBM cells beyond the margins of surgical resection in an approach we term as Targeted Photoactivatable Multi-Agent Liposomes (TPMALs) with image-guided dosimetry. The TPMAILs will integrate an FDA-approved PDT agent (benzoporphyrin derivative, BPD), an imaging contrast agent (IRDye800) and a multi-RTK inhibitor. EGFR is expressed in 70% of infiltrative drug resistant GBMs. BPD and a near-infrared tracer IRDye®800CW incorporated into the TPMAL membrane enable multi-wavelength fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging as online reporters of TPMAL delivery to residual, unresectable disease for PDT light dosimetry design and treatment response monitoring. The proposed study provides a compelling opportunity to bring together expertise of Dr. Hasan's lab (PDT and nano-drug delivery systems for cancer) in USA and Dr. Turchin's lab (Biophotonics and multi-modality fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging systems) in Russia to address the challenges mentioned above by leveraging advances in nanotechnology and optical imaging from both the groups. The biological (in vitro and in vivo) and nano-characterization experiments will be performed at Hasan lab and the technical aspects (imaging system development, simulations and the data/image processing) performed at Turchin lab. The collaboration between the highly complementary research labs of Drs. Hasan and Turchin will establish a nanotechnology based image-guided customized treatment platform capable of rapidly evaluating combination therapy efficacy and has high potential for clinical translation given the success of PDT and image-guided resection in GBM. Both teams look forward to continue efforts beyond the project as scientifically the techniques developed here have tremendous potential for transparent adaption to other cancer types.

Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.