Personalized Cancer Radiotherapy Through In Vivo Sensing

Mekhail Anwar, MD PhD

Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology |

FRI, 02/19/2021 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
via zoom
Spring 2021 Colloquium Series

We will discuss how to personalize cancer therapy through the development of new integrated circuit-based platforms for detecting both the delivery of charged particle therapy (CPT).


Real-time in vivo dosimetry - at the single particle level - holds the key to unlocking the power of personalized theranostics with both 𝛼 and β particles and the precision of proton therapy. The impact of theranostics using Lu177 - a β emitter -  is already being felt across neuroendocrine and prostate cancers.  Notably, 𝛼 particles deposit over 100X more energy over just 50 µm - making them a much more powerful - and potentially preciscse - therapeutic. However, this enthusiasm is tempered by the highly variable biodistribution making in vivo dosimetry essential to safe, personalized delivery.  Similarly, range uncertainty is a major limiting factor in precision targeting of charged particle therapy, and would benefit from real-time in vivo dosimetry.  To address these dual challenges, we have developed SENTRI - a mm2 chip capable of single CPT measurements from within tissue - and will discuss how efforts to fuse proton therapy and personalized theranostics can improve outcomes in patients with aggressive cancers.

About the Speaker:

Mekhail Anwar is a Physician-Scientist and Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), focusing on developing microfabricated sensors and computer chip technology (‘integrated circuits’ or ICs) for cancer detection within the body.  Educated at UC Berkeley in Physics, he completed his MD at UC San Francisco, and went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his Ph.D. in electrical engineering focused on using ICs for biosensing. He returned to complete his residency in Radiation Oncology at UCSF and continued as faculty, where he earned the DOD Prostate Cancer Research Program Physician Award for his work in cancer imaging.  He is the recipient of the NIH Trailblazer Award for developing chip-scale imagers for cancer and was recently awarded the NIH (DP2) New Innovator Award for in vivo imaging of immunotherapy response.