The major objective of the research in my laboratories is the development of radionuclide carrier systems suitable for the specific delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic radioactive moieties to cancerous cells. The goal is to maximize the effectiveness of radiotherapeutic agents while minimizing their toxicity to normal tissues. We have synthesized proprietary radiolabeled thymidine analogs (8 US issued patents) and documented their radiodiagnostic and radiotherapeutic potential following locoregional administration in tumor-bearing animals. These results represent promising observations on a novel approach to cancer treatment with unsealed radioactive sources. Pharmacokinetics studies in cancer patients have shown the approach to be equally effective. More recently, we have been developing a proprietary technology (Enzyme-Mediated Cancer Imaging and Therapy, 4 US issued patents, 7 US/International patents pending) that aim to irreversibly entrap and concentrate diagnostic and therapeutic radionuclides within solid tumors. When labeled with gamma or positron-emitting radionuclides, these molecules enable imaging (SPECT and PET) of solid tumors and their metastases. When labeled with energetic electron- or alpha-particles emitters, these prodrugs deposit therapeutic doses within solid tumors (technology licensed in 2010 by Sabik Medical, Inc.
Most recently, we have also been developing novel proprietary noninvasive blood- (or other bodily fluid) based cancer (and other disease) detection assays (4 issued International patents and 67 US and International pending patents). Using these assays, we have been able to detect cancer-specific signatures (genomic and proteomic) in tumor-bearing mice and in cancer patients. Specifically, these methodologies aim to enable the facile detection of (i) tumors present in an individual prior to the manifestation of pathologic signs and symptoms (screening), (ii) tumors in an individual suspected of having cancer (diagnosis), and (iii) tumor recurrence in an individual undergoing/following various treatments, e.g., radiation/chemo/etc. The results of recent ongoing studies have confirmed the capability of the SNEP blood assay in identifying patients with aggressive prostate cancer (high risk) and those with very low risk(technology licensed in 2011 by CellMDx, Inc.).