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  • John T. Isaacs Laboratory

    While there has been an explosion of knowledge about human carcinogenesis over the last 2 decades, unfortunately, this has not translated into the development of effective therapies for either preventing or treating the common human cancers. The goal of the Isaacs’ lab is to change this situation by translating theory into therapy for solid malignancies, particularly Prostate cancer. Presently, a series of drugs discovered in the Isaacs’ lab are undergoing clinical trials in patients with metastatic cancer.

    The ongoing drug discovery in the lab continues to focus upon developing agents to eliminate the cancer initiating stem cells within metastatic sites of cancer. To do this, a variety of bacterial and natural product toxins are being chemically modified to produce “prodrugs” whose cytotoxicity is selectively activated by proteases produced in high levels only by cancer cells or tumor associated blood vessel cells. In this way, these prodrugs can be given systemically to metastati...c patients without un-acceptable toxicity to the host while being selectively activated to potent killing molecules within metastatic sites of cancer.

    Such a “Trojan Horse” approach is also being developed using allogeneic bone marrow derived Mesenchymal Stem cells which are genetically engineered to secrete “prodrugs” so that when they are infused into the patient, they selectively “home” to sites of cancers where the appropriate enzymatic activity is present to liberate the killing toxin sterilizing the cancer “neighborhood”.
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    Research Areas: anti-cancer drugs, stem cell biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    John Isaacs, Ph.D.



  • Radionuclide Therapy and Dosimetry Research Lab

    The Radionuclide Therapy and Dosimetry Research Lab is focused on modeling and dosimetry analysis of radionuclide therapy to support the translation of novel targeted radionuclide therapy strategies to the clinic. The research is divided between laboratory studies and patient-specific dosimetry, radiobiological modeling studies, alpha-particle dosimetry, and mathematical modeling of radionuclide therapy. The lab is currently engaged in pre-clinical research investigating targeted alpha-emitter therapy of metastatic cancer.

    Research Areas: radionuclide dosimetry, nuclear medicine, alpha-emitter therapy, radionuclide therapy, metastatic cancer, radiobiological modeling

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