Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Lab

The Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Laboratory at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is a bench top and translational lab that is involved in the laboratory testing of nanoparticle constructs for the targeted imaging and therapy of patient-based brain tumor models both in cell culture and in rodent models. Led by principal investigator Constantinos Hadjipanayis MD, PhD, director of the UPMC Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery and co-director of the UPMC Hillman Brain Tumor Center, current activities include cell targeting, uptake, downstream signaling pathways, imaging and therapy efficacy.

A focus on the delivery of therapeutics by convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is an important effort in the lab. Combination therapies resulting in both radiosensitivity and chemosensitivity enhancement of malignant brain tumors are studied as well. Various patient based rodent brain tumor models are used for therapeutic efficacy and safety studies. In addition, the lab is actively testing the use of alternating magnetic fields with magnetic nanoparticles for local hyperthermia treatment and for targeting brain tumors.

The lab is also heavily involved in the study of photodynamic therapy as a potential adjuvant therapy for malignant brain tumors. This therapy is a clinically established treatment modality for many cancers. However, the procedure still requires optimizations for application to malignant brain tumor therapy. The main goal of the lab is to facilitate translation of bench top and rodent work into human clinical studies.