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LAMMP Seminar Video
Biophotonics in cancer detection and treatment
James Tunnell, Ph.D.

Our research focuses on developing minimally invasive optical technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It is widely believed that the greatest achievement that can be made in cancer management is the early detection and subsequent treatment of disease. Our approach combines biophotonic techniques such as optical imaging, spectroscopy, and nanophotonics to develop systems capable of combined diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This presentation focuses on two primary applications: 1) non-invasive detection of skin cancer and 2) nanovectors for the treatment of solid tumors. In the first application, we are developing fiber-based spectroscopic systems to measure tissue morphology and function for the non-invasive diagnose skin cancer. In collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center and UT Medical Branch, we have conducted an 80 patient clinical feasibility study to determine the performance of these systems. In the second application, we are developing multifunctional nanovectors for the combined imaging and treatment of solid tumors. We demonstrate novel strategies for studying the targeting kinetics and biodistribution of these vectors in murine models. These biophotonic solutions provide minimally-invasive strategies that may augment the current standard-of-care in the detection and treatment of cancer.

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