Center for Immunobiology & Vaccine Development


The therapeutic frontier
Emerging Technologies

The CHORI Cancer Center is committed to identifying and developing novel ways to promote cancer cell death, prevent metastatic spread and tumor progression, improve the specificity of treatments and deliver therapy more effectively to tumors.

Emerging Technologies under development in our Cancer Center include:

  • Methods for modulating lipid-mediated signaling pathways to enhance the sensitivity of cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy
  • Tools to identify novel markers for the diagnosis of certain cancers
  • Targeted delivery of chemotherapy to brain tumors
  • Methods for protecting normal tissues from side-effects of cancer therapy
  • Development of novel cancer vaccines and immunotherapy
Confocal microscopy indicates that fluorescently labeled nLDL particles are taken into the cell by LDL receptors and are found together in the cell's lysosomes, sac-like organelles which contain enzymes that can break down and destroy cellular components. Images on the left show peptides (green) and lipids (red), components of the nano-LDLs. When these images are merged (third from left), the yellow/orange color indicates that the peptides and lipids are in the same places in the cell. The final image (right) reveals that the sites where the nLDL peptides and lipids are localized are in the lysosomes, here outlined in blue. (Forte Lab)
Confocal micrograph of the monoclonal antibody SEAM 3 binding to CHP-134 neuroblastoma cells. SEAM 3 recognizes polysialic acid that contains de-N-acetyl neuraminic acid residues that are expressed on many human tumors during cell division. SEAM 3 binding to neuraminic acid containing-PSA on the cell surface arrests cell growth and induces apoptosis. SEAM 3 is labeled in red and DNA in blue. (Moe Lab)
murine colon cancer

Image above: murine colon cancer
Sphingolipids are a family of cellular lipids that control cell growth, cell death and blood vessel formation. Sphingolipids are present as dietary constituents in many human foods including soy and milk products. Our laboratory recently identified a new family of sphingolipids called sphingadienes that occur naturally in the fruitfly Drosophila and are structurally similar to compounds found in soy. We have shown that these compounds are able to kill colon cancer cells but are less toxic to normal colonic cells. The ability of the sphingadienes to kill colon cancer cells likely involves their ability to block critical cell signaling pathways that promote cell survival, protein synthesis and blood vessel formation and are often hyperactivated in colon cancer. Ongoing studies are aimed at learning how sphingadienes affect the cell and whether they are safe, effective agents to prevent and/or treat colon cancer. (Saba Lab)

Revised: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 1:01 PM

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