The Dept. of Biological Regulation
Weizmann Institute of Science
76100 Rehovot, Israel
Phone: 972 8 934 3930
Fax: 972 8 934 4186
Home: 972 8 946 0351
Mobile: 972 54 433 7674
Cancer Therapy by Blocking the Tumor's Blood Supply using Vascular Targeted Photodynamic Therapy (VTP)
Current Research: The major subject of research in the lab deals with Vascular Targeted Photodynamic Therapy (VTP). This novel anti cancer treatment modality was developed in the last 15 years in collaboration with Professor Avigdor Scherz from the Department of Plant Sciences at the Weizmann. The treatment comprises of i.v infusion of Pd-bacteriochlorophyll based photosensitzers synthesized in the A. Scherz laboratory with concomitant illumination (760nm) of the target tumor for 15-20 minutes via interstitial optic-fibers. The cytotoxic superoxide & hydroxyl radicals locally generated, induce vacular damage (blood cloting and vasoconstriction) that block blood supply to the tumor within minutes, leading to focal tumor ablation within days and to healing within weeks. Only a single treatment session is required and drug clearance from the circulation is completed within minutes, circumventing patient's skin photo-toxicity. In preclinical studies we showed that the success rates of VTP in mice and rats are high (50-90%) and in case of failure a 2nd treatment can be delivered with increased success rate. Tumor response and healing are associated with extensive immune response and with development of tumor resistance that may be applied in future long term therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), based on photochemical generation of in-situ paramagnetic deoxyhemoglobin contrast was developed for online follow up of VTP progress. Clinical trials for therapy of prostate cancer and age related macular degeneration in collaboration with Steba Biotech are in progress.
novel direction of treatment based on photodynamic
ablation of a selected rat embryo as model for the treatment of ectopic
A short update of recent studies is provided below.
Future Research will center on elucidation of the mechanism of VTP, its systemic immune based activity, design and testing of tumor vascular targeted drugs, and further development of photosensitized MRI based imaging.