Research from Purdue University addresses detecting, treating cancer

April 6, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - April 2015 has been named National Cancer Control Month by presidential proclamation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that one-third of the deaths attributed to cancer around the world could be prevented but technologies and services are not widely available. Eight million people die from cancer each year, while another 14 million are diagnosed with the disease.

Purdue University researchers are developing technologies that could address cancer prevention, detection and treatment. These technologies include:

* An oxygen generator to aid cancer treatment. Hypoxia, or the condition of being deprived of adequate oxygen, can impede the success of radiation therapy. Purdue researchers have developed an ultrasonically powered, implantable micro-oxygen generator that increases oxygen level in a tumor target, which could improve radiation therapy outcomes. The 1.2 mm x 1.3 mm x 8 mm device is small enough to be implanted by a hypodermic needle.

* A diagnostic tool that detects liver cancer and determines its aggressiveness. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer. A Purdue technology looks for a protein to determine if an individual liver is predisposed to develop cancer because of the infection as well as the cancer's stage - precancerous, proliferative or metastatic. Earlier detection with this diagnostic tool could help improve outcomes.

* Novel cancer therapy from an unlikely source. A Purdue technology called Avasimin is an injectable nanomedicine that significantly reduced cholesteryl ester storage in lipid droplets and elevated intracellular free cholesterol in cancer cells. Current experiments using mouse models led to effective cell death, suppressed proliferation and extended survival time. Additionally, there were no adverse effects of Avasimin to normal cells and organs. Potential applications and future uses include treating prostate, pancreatic, lung and colon cancer in mammals, including humans.

For more information about licensable Purdue technologies, contact innovation@prf.org 

Writer: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org 

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