James Byrne MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology and biomedical engineering, secured a $1.2 million K08 award from the National Cancer Institute to explore the development of biofoams that may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for rectal cancer.
Surgical resection of the rectum is associated with decreased quality of life and long-term challenges. Byrne’s research aims to identify new strategies to improve patients’ response to chemotherapy and radiation therapy and therefore reduce the likelihood of surgery.
At low, non-toxic concentrations, carbon monoxide (CO) has been shown to inhibit inflammation and provide anti-tumor effects. Byrne and his team are developing new methods that can deliver CO directly through the gastrointestinal tract in the form of biofoams. This approach, an alternative to inhaling CO, may help overcome the challenges of inhaled CO while reducing normal tissue injury. (source)