Patient-Derived Models for Cancer Research

DevThera’s own research with PDX models has yielded some interesting findings related to the use and viability of the PDX as a preclinical model.  One such project established and characterized serially passaged ovarian cancer PDX models (From P0 to P4), which yielded new information about PDX tumor characteristics of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma. The research determined that PDX gene expression patterns change as a function of passage number: an important consideration when testing therapeutic hypotheses Another study suggested that human tumors engrafted in NSG mice are vulnerable to the development of lymphocytic PDX tumors, with initial passage of breast and pancreatic cancer PDX tumors having the potential to propagate into a lymphocytic tumor in one mouse and an adenocarcinoma in another mouse.  The finding demonstrated a need to exert quality control for new PDX models by screening for lymphocytic markers.

Treatment for AMD

The aims of the Center’s R24 grant from the National Eye Institute are to advance one or more new therapeutics for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration to investigative drug status and a phase I clinical trial. The team has made progress toward that end, identifying two potent peptides that mitigate choroidal neovascularization (CNV) with the ability to be delivered on nanoparticles with a half-life of greater than 30 days.  CDT staff have established a means to follow near-IR fluorescent nanoparticle content in rabbit eyes using the IVIS imaging system and has shown that that dye monitoring can proceed for longer than 4 weeks.

The spin-out Pamdeca LLC (Peptides Against Macular Degeneration and Cancer) seeks to commercialize inventions stemming from this research. 

Systemic Toxicity Imaging

CDT collaborates with Ming Zhao (Medicine-Cardiology) on an R01 award which aims to develop and validate a whole-body imaging technique as a novel approach for characterizing the systemic toxicity profile of anticancer drugs noninvasively. The project works in collaboration with the Center of Molecular Imaging (CAMI), the Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery (CMIDD), the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. The approach, labeled as ToxScan, looks to benefit oncology patients by optimizing therapies on a personalized basis.