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The Sixth Annual Allan R. Oseroff Photomedicine Lecture

R. Rox Anderson, M.D.
Professor, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Anderson graduated from MIT, and then received his MD degree magna cum laude from the joint MIT-Harvard medical program, Health Sciences and Technology. After completing his dermatology residency and an NIH research fellowship at Harvard, he joined the faculty where he is now Harvard Medical School Professor in dermatology, Director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine; and adjunct Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at MIT. Dr. Anderson conceived and developed many of the non-scarring laser treatments now widely used in medical care. These include treatments for birthmarks, microvascular and pigmented lesions, tattoo and permanent hair removal. He has also contributed to treatment for vocal cords, kidney stones, glaucoma, heart disease, photodynamic therapy for cancer and acne, and optical diagnostics.

His research has advanced the basic knowledge of human skin photobiology, drug photosensitization mechanisms, tissue optics, and laser-tissue interactions. In addition to research at the Wellman Center, Dr. Anderson practices dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital and teaches at Harvard and MIT. Active research includes diagnostic tissue imaging and spectroscopy, photodynamic therapy, mechanisms of selective laser-tissue interactions, adipose tissue biology and novel therapy for skin disorders. Dr. Anderson has been awarded over 60 national and international patents, and has co-authored over 300 scientific books and papers.
Basic Strategies for Target-selective Optical Therapy: An Ode to Allan Oseroff
Thursday, June 5, 2014
3:00 p.m.   
Meet & Greet with light refreshments
3:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
Hanna Kim 949.824.2251

All good treatments are somehow target-selective. Selectivity achieved through radiant energy deposition fascinated Allan Oseroff, a broadminded physicist-physician-scientist who helped many people, by understanding and "sweating the details" of how light can interact with molecules, cells and tissue. Different light-induced chemical, thermal and mechanical mechanisms suggest different strategies for optical therapy. For example, for selective target cell killing there are major advantages to using light-activated nanoparticles instead of light-activated drugs (photodynamic therapy). Despite that, the optical nanoparticle strategies are just emerging. Results of recent clinical studies will be presented, using laser-pumped gold nanoshells to target sebaceous glands as a treatment for acne. For cancer, photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an accepted alternative to surgery, radiation or chemotherapy - and yet (as Allan Oseroff and colleagues showed) - PDT is severely limited by depth of optical penetration and by hypoxic tumor resistance. These limitations along with some historical quirks, have largely defined how PDT is actually used in medical care. How do other strategies compare? Selective photothermolysis (SP) of blood vessels is a well-established laser treatment for microvascular lesions that uses thermally-mediated, selective vascular damage. Is SP effective for cancer therapy? Yes it is, in every solid tumor type tested thus far. Furthermore, SP is simpler and perhaps synergistic with PDT based on complementary mechanisms.

Dr. Oseroff was attracted not only to problem-solving, but to what we fundamentally don't know much about. This talk will end with a look at interactions of light that may be promising, but not yet been used for therapy.

Co-Sponsors: Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Institute for Clinical Translational Science, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, Department of Dermatology and Department of Biomedical Engineering