UNTHSC researcher finding ways to use nuclear technology for better cancer treatment

December 10, 2013

UNT Health Science Center is helping shape nuclear technology’s future. Anthony J. Di Pasqua, PhD, of the UNT System College of Pharmacy is part of a new national team seeking ways to use nuclear technology for better cancer treatment.

Di Pasqua’s team, formed during a recent national conference organized by the National Academies, includes top scholars from institutions such as UCLA, Yale and the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

“We will report next year action items that will help ensure the future development of drugs containing radioactive materials, such as nano-materials for targeted chemo- and radiation-therapy, that I am developing with collaborator Kenneth J. Balkus, PhD, at UT Dallas, through a grant from the Texas Medical Research Collaborative,” said Di Pasqua, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. “These may reduce side effects and allow for the use of less radiation in therapy.”

Di Pasqua and collaborators also are exploring innovations such as putting small reactors in hospitals and applying bandages to deliver low doses of radiation to skin cancer patients.

Di Pasqua was among 100 select scientists from across the country invited to the National Academies Keck Futuries Initiative (NAKFI) November meeting in Irvine, Calif.

Di Pasqua’s interprofessional team includes top scholars from disciplines such as math, biology, radiology, biomedical engineering and science communication.

He is applying for grants available only to those who participated in the NAFKI conference.

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