Research Subject

Preclinical study of early diagnostic and treatment of lymph node metastasis

Tetsuya Kodama, Professor / Shiro Mori, Lecturer(Biomedical Engineering for Cancer)

Most cancer cells are invasive and metastatic, and they become disseminated to distant anatomical site by invasive-metastasis cascade. We will develop diagnosis and treatment methods of lymph node metastasis at the early stages. Our research is interdisciplinary or integrated research based on fluid dynamics, optics, molecular cell biology, oncology, and pathology. Our research subjects are as follows.
1. Mechanisms of lymph node metastasis
2. Drug delivery system (DDS) targeted for lymph node metastasis using nano-particles
3. Assessment of treatment for lymph node metastasis using noninvasive multimodal in vivo imaging techniques such as high-frequency ultrasound, bioluminescence and micro-CT.

Noninvasive ultrasonic treatment of non-superficial tissue

Shinichiro Umemura, Professor / Shin Yoshizawa, Associate Professor
(Ultrasound Enhanced Nanomedicine)

Microbubbles can highly enhance the therapeutic effect of ultrasound. We are studying ultrasonic methods to generate such microbubbles selectively at the tumor to be treated.
One is to use a highly focused short pulse at an extremely high intensity. Another is to use phase change nanodroplets, which tend to accumulate in tumor tissues due to EPR effect. They are phase-changed to microbubbles by ultrasonic stimulation. The selectivity and throughput of focused ultrasound treatment will be highly enhanced by these methods. We are also studying ultrasonic imaging techniques to aim the target tissue and monitor the therapeutic process.

Development of particle therapy for cancer

Atsuki Terakawa, Associate Professor(Quantum Medical Engineering)

Charged particle beams provide superior depth-dose distribution compared to an X-ray.
In order to sensitize radiation therapy, we have studied proton therapy in combination with vascular disrupting agents or anticancer drugs. A high-resolution semiconductor PET with less than 1 mm has been used to evaluate therapeutic effects on tumor growth using [18F]Fluoro-Deoxy-Glucose and [18F]Fluoromisonidazole. We have also performed elemental analysis on the basis of PIXE to evaluate spatial distribution and concentration of anticancer drugs in tumor tissue or cells.

Research on Biomedical Materials for Minimally Invasive Treatment of Cancer

Masakazu Kawashita, Associate Professor(Biomedical Material Engineering)

Radioactive yttrium and/or phosphorus-containing microspheres 20-30 µm in diameter are useful for radio-embolization therapy. Moreover, microspheres containing magnetic crystals such as magnetite or maghemite are useful for embolic hyperthermia under alternating magnetic field. We are trying to develop microspheres for intra-arterial cancer therapy.