Radiation Modulated Nanomedicine Delivery
The current survival times for breast cancer patients with brain metastasis range from 2 to 16 months suggesting a strong need for improvements in their therapeutic care. Although radiation therapy is the standard of care for these patients, combination with chemotherapy has demonstrated promising therapeutic benefits. The hypothesis of this research program is based on the belief that optimizing combination of radiation and chemotherapy has the potential to significantly improve the treatment outcome for patients with breast cancers that have metastasized to the brain. Merrimack Pharmaceutical Inc. has developed a nanoparticle based chemotherapy approach which has shown improved therapeutic activity compared to conventional chemotherapy. In addition, it has shown highly promising results both primary and metastatic lesions in a Phase I clinical trial in patients with metastatic breast cancer. The research described in this proposal is aimed at using non-invasive imaging techniques to better understand the interplay of radiotherapy and nanomedicine-based chemotherapy in order to determine the optimal treatment regimen for brain metastases.