Ashish Ranjan, BVSc, Ph.D., recently received an Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in the amount of nearly $423,000. Dr. Ranjan is assistant professor in the Department of Physiological Sciences at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. He’s also an associate member of the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma.
“The long-term goal of our research is to optimize and provide uniform intratumoral delivery of antitumor drugs with real-time control,” said Ranjan. “Targeting the delivery to a chosen site will provide physicians more precise dosing control.”
Cancer chemotherapy employs systemic delivery of antitumor drugs with limited specificity which causes toxic side effects in normal tissues and inefficient/insufficient drug delivery to tumor cells, according to Ranjan.
“This grant will allow us to develop an integrated imaging-based nanoparticle platform for cancer therapy using a high intensity focused ultrasound device,” he said.
Image Guided Drug Delivery (IGDD) is a highly interdisciplinary field that combines drug encapsulated nanocarriers and imaging devices to achieve targeted tumor therapy, according to the university. Innovative IGDD ideas are strongly encouraged by the National Cancer Institute, the university further noted.
“Our interdisciplinary approach to problem solving brings together the skills of the Nanotechnology and Targeted Therapy Laboratory based at OSU’s veterinary center, Oklahoma State University and the NIH Center for Interventional Oncology headed by Dr. Bradford Wood,” Ranjan said. “This multi-year project will hopefully lead to clinical trials and eventually clinical practice.”