Understanding the impact of cellular and organismal stresses on cancer cell mechanisms and impact on cancer therapies and therapy-related consequence
How can we use the principles of biophysics — like radiation, heat and light — to treat cancer?
Roswell Park was the birthplace of clinical photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the 1970s — and our world-renowned research program is continuing that success in advancing our understanding of cell stress and biophysics in oncology.
In addition to PDT, the expertise among our multidisciplinary team includes thermal therapy/heat shock proteins (HSP), tumor hypoxia and oxidative stress, radiation/oxidative DNA damage/repair, biophysics of chromatin and membrane, and circadian regulation.
- The key goal of the Cancer Stress Biology Program is to understand the mechanisms of cellular and organismal stresses and use them to improve the outcome of existing cancer therapies and to develop new and improved treatment approaches.
- Understand the interplay between different types of stresses at the organismal level including their effect on metabolism, the immune system and tumor development and response to therapy
- Understand the mechanisms of how tumor cells can exist in constant stress, such as metabolic dysregulation, elevated level of DNA damage, disorganized chromatin, altered circadian regulation, etc.
- Develop novel cancer treatment strategies based on biophysical principles that target a key aspect of tumor cell vulnerability – existence in constant stressed conditions
- Uncover mechanisms and approaches to protect normal cells, but not tumor cells, from stresses associated with cancer treatment
- Develop novel strategies to prevent and treat cancer therapy-induced bystander injury
- Bring them to clinical fruition by facilitating interactions with clinicians and basic scientists in other programs
- Provide a training ground for these novel treatment approaches
We coordinate this research across three program themes:
- Discovery and development of new treatment approaches to target major tumor cell vulnerability – existence in permanent stress
- Effect of stress in immune system and immune modulating effects of different types of stress
- Molecular mechanisms of different types of cellular stress and their interactions