Pradip Mascharak to discuss photodynamic therapy in fall Synergy Lecture

Pradip Mascharak

"Treating Skin Cancer with Light? Not a Fallacy Anymore!" is the title of the Fall 2007 Synergy Lecture by Pradip Mascharak, professor of chemistry and biochemistry. The lecture will take place on Thursday, October 18, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Current Periodicals Room of the Science & Engineering Library. Light refreshments will be available.

Mascharak will discuss the fundamentals and potentials of an intriguing therapy using light to treat cancer and will highlight the unconventional use of nitric oxide in this process.

During the past two decades, the connection between skin cancer and long exposure to sunlight has been established quite firmly. The recent changes in climate related to global warming and the identification of ozone holes further add to this concern. Interestingly, many skin-cancer patients are treated with light of selected frequencies following administration of topical or systemic drugs. This is often referred to as photodynamic therapy.

Mascharak's research group has recently designed and synthesized several molecules that can selectively deliver high doses of nitric oxide to malignant sites and cause cell destruction under the total control of light exposure. The researchers are now testing the feasibility of using these unusual nitric-oxide donors in photodynamic therapy for skin cancer. These nitric-oxide donors may also be employed to combat other localized cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer.

More information about Mascharak and his research can be found on his web site.

For more information, visit the Synergy Lecture Series web site or call (831) 459-3586.