Thesis defence of Stein-Martin Fagerland on “Nanoparticles, ultrasound and microbubble mediated drug delivery in cancer model”, June 12th

Text from Professor Catharina de Lange Davies

Stein-Martin Fagerland will defend his PhD thesis  “Nanoparticles, ultrasound and microbubble mediated drug delivery in cancer model” on Friday June 12th.

The defence will take place in room S21, in Sentralbygget 2. Floor  at Gløshaugen, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway.

The schedule is different from normal as the 2. opponent will be in California. We start at 0815 in the morning with Stein-Martins presentation followed by the opposition.

You can follow the defence by zoom

The first opponent is professor  George Dimcevski from Univ of Bergen. He is in charge of the clinical study they have done in Bergen treating patients with pancreatic tumors with standard chemotherapy plus ultrasound and microbubbles.  We are now doing a similar study here in Trondheim. George will be present at NTNU during the defence and I expect a very interesting discussion from a clinical perspective between the two medical doctors on the importance of ultrasound-mediated delivery of drugs and nanoparticles to treat cancer and the clinical potential. The discussion will be interesting for all of us working on understand the mechanism behind ultrasound-mediated delivery of drugs and nanoparticles.

At 11.15 Stein-Martin will give the trial lecture on the topic “Diagnostic imaging in pancreatic adenocarcinoma”. The trial lecture has already been approved by the committee, thus it is not part of the official defence program, but it is nice for all of us who had not the chance to listen to the trail lecture, to have it presented.

Join Zoom Meeting

Here is a link to the program on innsida

Stein- Martin started out as a medical student following a special program which includes one extra year doing rearch during medical school (Forskerlinje). After finishing medical school, he was a PhD student for two years. The research project he performed as a medical student, he did together with PhD student Siv Eggen and that resulted in his first paper. In this paper he used a novel microbubble-nanoparticle platform, i.e. a microbubble stabilized by a shell of polymeric nanoparticles and he studied the uptake of these nanoparticles in combination with ultrasound focused toward the prostate tumor growing subcutaneously in athymic mice. The study was followed up by another PhD student Sofie Snipstad who showed that these nanoparticle-microbubbles containing the drug cabazitaxel together with focused ultrasound cured the breast tumors growing subcutaneously in mice.

Next, we wanted to investigate whether we could achieve similar positive therapeutic results in a more clinically relevant tumor model. That was the background for Stein-Martin’s two next papers. First, he characterized the transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP model) using MRI, US imaging and histology. A subgroup of the mice develops fast growing poorly differentiated tumors, and Stein-Martin investigated the feasibility of using ultrasound imaging to screen for these tumors and compared the performances of US and MRI.  For mice without a clear tumor, prostate volume was used as a marker for disease burden and prostate volume was estimated with US imaging, MRI, and histology.  To our knowledge, this is the first time a study comparing the three methods has been performed in TRAMP mice to characterize the prostate. In the last study, the goal was to evaluate in the two different phenotypes of the TRAMP model, whether encapsulating cabazitaxel in nanoparticles was more efficient than injecting free cabazitaxel, and to evaluate if ultrasound + microbubbles enhanced the therapeutic effect.

The second opponent Dr. Renuka Sriram from University of California, Dept of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging is an expert on TRAMP model, and I expect an interesting discussion on the use of various mice and tumor models in preclinical studies.

Text from Professor Catharina de Lange Davies