Monitoring the efficacy of chemopreventive agents

The ability to assess the efficacy of chemopreventive agents is crucial for the development of effective anticancer strategies. A myriad of agents have demonstrated chemopreventive efficacy in experimental systems. However, clinical studies remain difficult and expensive because of the insufficiency of existing intermediate biomarkers for early carcinogenesis and chemoprevention and, therefore, the long follow up needed to demonstrate the protective effects of agents. Thus, finding an easily detectable, sensitive, and accurate intermediate biomarker would be of tremendous clinical benefit in designing chemopreventive strategies. Ideally, such biomarker would quantitatively assess the efficacy of a chemopreventive strategy early in the course of the therapy, which is of great benefit to patients undergoing the therapy, drug developers developing or evaluating the agent, and biomedical researchers investigating the mechanisms of carcinogenesis and chemoprevention. We are interested in applying an array of novel biophotonics technologies and a panel of novel optically accessible biomarkers of early carcinogenesis developed in our laboratory to address this problem.

Research Images

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Backman's Biophotonics Laboratory at Northwestern University

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