Our goal is to prevent cancer, extend survival rates, and improve quality of life for people with cancer
A major problem with most current cancer treatments lies in their toxic effects on other cells in the body. Thus, chemotherapy often makes patients sick. Indeed, in some cases, it is not known if a patient actually dies from cancer rather than the treatment they undergo to combat it.However, nature has evolved a way to fight cancer without harming other cells in the body. This process is called, “contact normalization”.
Contact normalization describes the ability of nontransformed cells to normalize the growth of neighboring cancer cells. This is a very wide spread and powerful phenomenon. Tumor cells need to overcome this form of growth inhibition before they can become malignant or metastatic.
We have performed comprehensive analyses to identify genes and proteins that are affected during contact normalization. Our technology can be used as accurate biomarkers to detect cancer, prognostic indicators to determine the invasive and metastatic potential of cancer cells, and chemotherapeutic reagents to combat cancer cell growth, invasion, and metastasis.
We are currently refining the production of cancer drugs that specifically target malignant and metastatic cancer cells. This technology should fight cancer without the toxicity and collateral damage produced by conventional chemotherapy drugs that are currently available.
We are working with other investigators and physicians at major medical research centers to initiate clinical trials designed to prevent and treat cancer. These efforts are currently focused to combat skin cancer and oral cancer.
Skin cancer is very common and its incidence is rising. Indeed, a person dies from melanoma about every hour in the United States, and many more die in other countries around the world.
Like skin cancer, oral cancer is also very common and kills one person about every hour in the United States. In fact, over 600,000 new cases of oral cancer are found worldwide each year.
There is currently a lack of effective treatments for both of these types of cancer. We are developing methods to detect and treat these cancers, as well as other cancers including brain cancer and breast cancer.
Our approach is focused on specifically targeting these cancer cells. We are using a synergistic combination of approaches to prevent and combat cancer while minimizing harmful effects to other cells in the body.