Innovative Therapeutics

The overarching goals of the Innovative Therapeutics program are to develop effective treatment for local advanced and metastatic cancers, with a primary focus on overcoming therapy-resistance, and to enrich therapeutic agents in the tumor tissue through targeted drug delivery with areas of focus on intrinsic and acquired resistance. We are focusing on the following specific aims to address these goals: 1) To sensitize anti-cancer activity by targeting pathways essential for intrinsic resistance. We will treat cancer cells with inhibitors that block essential pathways in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and assess cancer cell sensitivity to treatment; 2) To enhance anti-cancer activity of therapeutic agents in primary and metastatic tumors by targeting mechanisms of acquired resistance. We will apply nanotechnology-based delivery platforms to enrich therapeutic agents by identifying affinity ligands that can be used as tumor-targeting moieties to further enhance drug accumulation in primary and metastatic tumor tissues and prevent suboptimal dosing that can lead to acquired resistance. This approach is also applicable to non-druggable TIC-essential genes with therapeutic siRNA or anti-sense oligonucleotides; 3) To evaluate therapeutic efficacy of promising therapeutic agents derived from Aims 1 and 2 studies that serve as pipelines for clinical evaluation