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Biosensors For Measuring The Metastatic Potential And Chemoresistance Of Single Cancer Cells

Metastasis is a complex process in which cancer cells migrate from the primary tumor, invade into the vasculature, and travel to distant parts of the body to establish secondary tumors. Cells with a greater metastatic potential have a proclivity for leading migration away from the primary tumor. Progress in identifying cells primed to metastasize and in assessing metastatic risk has been slow. This may be due in part to the lack of consistent molecular prognostic markers between cancer types and significant heterogeneity in metastatic potential within the tumor. Furthermore, not all tumors are metastatic and determining the metastatic proclivity of single tumor cells remains a major challenge. Another looming scientific question is estimating the metastatic “potential” because conventional techniques, e.g., Immunohistochemistry (IHC) are not capable of this and only molecular imaging can resolve these issues. So far, improved imaging platforms have helped detect established metastases and assessed tumor cell properties such as surrogate markers of metastatic potential. However, single cell-based assays to measure the dynamic pro-metastatic signaling programs that contribute to the 'potential' for metastasis remains a Holy Grail.

Simultaneous pH- And Oxygen-Weighted MRI Contrast Using Multi-Echo Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer Imaging (ME-CEST)

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that simultaneously acquires acidic and hypoxic information often associated with brain tumors and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Chimeric Antigen Receptors For Phagocytosis (Car-P)

UCSF researchers have engineered a chimeric antigen receptor for phagocytosis (CAR-P) that promotes engulfment of cancer cells.

Humanized Antibodies to the Extracellular Domains of Human N-Cadherin

UCLA researchers in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology have developed humanized antibody therapies for invasive prostate and bladder cancers that express N-cadherin.

T Cell Signature Predictive of Clinical Outcome with Immunomodulatory Treatment

Biomarkers to predict responsiveness to anti-CTLA-4 antibodies

An Improved Phase-Contrast MRI Technique

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have developed a phase-contrast MRI acquisition technique called Hybrid One- and Two-sided Flow Encoding Only (HOTFEO).

Scalable Lipid Bilayer Microfluidics for High-Throughput Gene Editing

Researchers led by Paul Weiss from the Department of Chemistry and Pediatrics at UCLA have created a new microfluidic device for high-throughput gene editing of cells.

Novel Tumor-targeting Virus for Cancer Therapy

UCSF researchers have developed a novel engineered virus that specifically targets tumor cells using a knottin moiety, to effectively eliminate a number of cancer types.

Bioorthogonal Ligation Mediated Rare-Cell Capture in Microfluidic Devices

Researchers at the UCLA Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology have developed a novel NanoVelcro microfluidic chip that is capable of not only effectively enriching circulating tumor cells (CTCs) but also quickly recovering CTCs with well-preserved mRNA and minimal level of white blood cell contamination.

Integrative Leakage Correction For Contrast Agent Extravasation In Dynamic Susceptibility Contrast (DSC) - MRI

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have developed a new technique for more accurately estimating relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) from dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) perfusion MRI by improved modeling and correction of contrast agent leakage.

Development of a Microfluidic Adhesion Assay for the Isolation of Weakly Adherent Metastatic Cancer Cells

Metastasis is a complex process in which cancer cells migrate from the primary tumor, invade into the vasculature, and travel to distant parts of the body to establish secondary tumors. Cells with a greater metastatic potential have a proclivity for leading migration away from the primary tumor. Progress in identifying cells primed to metastasize and in assessing metastatic risk has been slow. This may be due in part to the lack of consistent molecular prognostic markers between cancer types and significant heterogeneity in metastatic potential within the tumor. However, all metastatic cells – independent of tumor type or heterogeneity within the tumor – must detach from the tumor, migrate through the surrounding tissue, and invade the blood stream. This process involves a significant change in adhesion, which can be quantified in a heterogeneous population of cancer cells.

Multi-Frequency Harmonic Acoustography for Target Identification and Border Detection

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, and Head and Neck Surgery have developed a novel ultrasound-based imaging technique that can be used to analyze tumor margins during surgery.

Cirmtuzumab Targets ROR1+ Breast Cancer Stem Cells That Are Selectively Resistant To Cancer Chemotherapy

Advances in chemotherapy and endocrine therapy have reduced breast cancer mortality, but 20% of patients still relapse and ultimately succumb to this disease. One model accounting for this position is that there exists cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are relatively resistant to chemotherapy, have self-renewal capacity, can repopulate the tumor, and can spread to distant sites. If so, therapies that also target CSCs may improve treatment outcomes and patient survival. Studies have identified characteristics that distinguish CSCs from other cancer cells. Breast CSCs have phenotypic features that distinguish them from other neoplastic cells. For example the receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1) is expressed in many cancers, but not by normal post-partum tissues.  Breast cancers with high-levels of ROR1 cells tend to be poorly differentiated and to express markers associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In line with a role for ROR1 in tumor cell survival metastasis, high-level expression of ROR1 is associated with relatively short post-treatment disease-free or overall survival of patients with triple-negative breast cancer. However, the targeting of ROR1 in breast CSCs which constitute a subpopulation of cancer cells that are relatively resistant to conventional chemotherapy and have self-renewing capacities needs further investigation.

NOVEL TUMOR SELECTIVE INTERNALIZING ANTIBODIES

Novel human monoclonal antibodies recognize a cell surface antigen that has limited normal tissue expression but is highly overexpressed in several types of cancers, including mesothelioma, melanoma, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, skin cancer and testicular cancer. The antibodies can block tumor invasion, self-renewal and have potential to modulate immune effector cell function.

Endoscopic Optical Coherence Tomography As A Minimally Invasive Lung Cancer Screening Tool To Guide Diagnosis And Therapy

Current diagnostic procedures for lung cancer are invasive, time-consuming, and subjective. UCI researchers have developed a quick, non-invasive lung cancer diagnostic device which uses optical coherence tomography (OCT) and can improve lung cancer diagnosis and outcomes.

Identification of Novel Biomarkers to Detect Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) Progression

Generally, our current knowledge about cancer is based upon the mutations in protein coding genes, such as tumor suppressors and oncogenes. Recently, with advancements in the deep sequencing arena, focus has turned to the importance of epigenetic and post-transcriptional events in cancer progression and resistance associated with therapeutic treatments. These findings have revealed the complexity of gene expression at the RNA level. To that end, two of the most common RNA modifications are the editing of N6-methyl adenosines (m6A) and adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I). For A-I conversion, Adenosine Deaminases Act on RNA (ADARs) enzymes targeting non-coding sequences and alterations in ADAR expression or activity can lead to cancer, but the pathogenic mechanisms remain under investigation.  Furthermore, malignant RNA editing, driven by ADAR1 activation has been shown to be a major contributor to cancer relapse and progression.

PTUPB Compound Potentiates Cisplatin-Based-First Line Therapies with No Additional Toxicity

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered a compound that inhibits both cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) /soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) to improve effectiveness of chemotherapy while protecting normal tissue from cisplatin toxicity.

Systems And Methods For Real-Time Tracking Of Patient Anatomy Changes

Researchers in the Department of Radiation Oncology at UCLA have developed a system that enables physicians and radiology technicians to track a patient's posture and anatomical changes in real-time. This invention will enable healthcare providers to track physiological changes in a patient undergoing radiation therapy and give them the freedom to modify treatment to account for such changes.

Brain Penetrant EGFR Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, and Neurology have discovered novel anti-tumor compounds for treatment of brain cancer.

Genome-Wide Identification Of Immune Evasion Functions In A Virus

UCLA researchers in the Department of Pharmacology have discovered a novel approach toward generating live attenuated influenza vaccines with improved immune response in vivo.

A Novel Target for the Neutralization of Cancer Stem Cells in Glioblastoma

Researchers at UC Irvine have recently discovered a novel mechanism that can be exploited to disrupt the maintenance and self-renewal capacity of cancer stem cells. This finding has therapeutic implications for the treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), which is the most common, aggressive and lethal primary brain tumor.

Potent TMEM16A Small Molecule Treatment for Inflammatory and Reactive Airway Diseases, Asthma, Hypertension, Pain and Cancer

A novel class of 2-acylamino-cycloalkylthiophene-3-carboxylic acid arylamides (AACTs) as potent TMEM16A inhibitors

Development of an Optimized Detection Test for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Associated Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a highly lethal cancer that annually affects over 60,000 people in the United States (US) and has been traditionally associated with tobacco and ethanol exposure. Recently, the incidence of HPV-induced oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OPSCC) has seen a rapid increase, especially in the US and other Western countries. Early oral HPV infections do not typically cause any clinical signs or symptoms. Currently, there is no standard screening test to reliably identify High Risk HP-related oral tumors, most of the current tests have been validated for cervical tumor samples and not for saliva or blood. Furthermore, the tests presently in use usually require some sort of confirmatory secondary test.  

Antisense Oligonucleotide Therapy for B Cell Mediated Cancers

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a targeted therapy using an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) to treat precursor B cell (pre-B) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Novel Compounds that Target Her3

UCSF researchers have developed a new class of small molecule ligands that specifically target HER3, a receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in numerous cancers.

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