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BCRF Investigator Since

2017

Area(s) of Focus

Bryan Smith, PhD

Instructor, Radiology and Molecular Imaging Program
Stanford University
Stanford, California
American Association for Cancer Research

Current Research

  • Seeking to design rationally-engineered nanotherapies for treatment of triple negative breast cancer.
  • A nanoparticle drug delivery system that targets specific tumor-promoting immune cells is tested in laboratory models of triple negative breast cancer.
  • If successful, this study will enable rapid translation of a nanoparticle platform to benefit patients.

Our immune systems continually surveil our bodies and eliminate most cancer cells before they become established tumors. Growing tumors, however can suppress the immune system by recruiting immune cells called myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). This allows the tumors to escape this immune surveillance, to grow unimpeded and resist anti-cancer therapy. Targeting MDSCs is a compelling strategy to improve response to therapy and treatment outcomes.

Laboratory studies have shown that blocking MDSCs has a dramatic effect on response to anti-cancer drugs. Some of these strategies are being tested in clinical trials, but are limited in their clinical efficacy due to side effects.

Dr. Smith will employ a drug loaded nanoparticle to specifically target the MDSCs while sparing healthy cells and avoiding the side effects associated with other strategies. This precise targeting of MDSCs could improve the clinical utility of this therapy and make it a viable strategy to improve the effectiveness of anti-cancer therapies.

Bio

Dr. Bryan R. Smith is an Instructor in the Department of Radiology and the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS) at Stanford University. He received BS degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Biomedical Engineering. He was awarded a PhD at The Ohio State University in Biomedical Engineering as an NSF Pre-Doctoral Fellow. At Stanford, Dr. Smith has received many awards and published dozens of nanomedicine and oncology articles in journals ranging from Nature Nanotechnology and Nano Letters to Cancer Research and PNAS and has several patents issued and pending. His lab focuses on the development of nano-enabled immuno-imaging and immunotherapy platforms.