Dewhirst Lab


Research Overview

Intravital microscopy of two 4T1 tumors viewed with light microscopy (A and C) and corresponding hyperspectral imaging to indicate hemoglobin saturation (B and D). (Terman et al., Sickle erythrocytes target cytotoxics to hypoxic tumor microvessels and potentiate a tumoricidal response. 2013)


Clonogenic survival showing the synergistic effects of hyperthermia and cisplatin treatment, and the role of the copper transporter Ctr1. Significantly enhanced killing was achieved when WT cells were subjected to hyperthermia during cisplatin treatment (black squares), compared to normothermic WT cells (white squares), with a dose modifying factor of 1.77. Cell kill was diminished when Ctr1-/- cells were treated with cisplatin, at both normothermic (white circles) and hyperthermic (black circles) temperatures. (Landon et al., A role for the copper transporter Ctr1 in the synergistic interaction between hyperthermia and cisplatin treatment. 2013)



Doxorubicin penetration into the extravascular space following delivery as either a free drug (A, C) or encapsulated into temperature-sensitive liposomes (B, D) while hyperthermia was applied to the tumor. (Manzoor et al., Overcoming limitations in nanoparticle drug delivery: Triggered, intravascular release to improve drug penetration into tumors. 2012)



Selected genes whose expression correlates with changes in tumor volume following hyperthermia. (Chi et al., Comparison of genomics and functional imaging from canine sarcomas treated with thermoradiotherapy predicts therapeutic response and identified combination therapeutics. 2011)

Current Projects

Our lab is investigating many aspects of tumor control, particularly in response to hyperthermia, irradiation and changes in microcirculation. Because cancer and its microvasculature and treatment are complex, our studies encompass a wide range of interests, including antioxidant treatment following irradiation, angiogenesis, nanoparticle drug delivery systems, psoralen phototherapy and the effects of hypoxia and reactive oxygen/nitrogen species on tumor growth. We work closely with other laboratories in the Radiation Oncology department, especially the Batinic-Haberle Laboratory for antioxidant-based tumor research, and the Palmer Laboratory for tumor imaging experiments. We also collaborate with several external companies.