President, International Institute of Medicine & Science, USA
Title: Nanotechnology May Provide New Hope for Brain Cancer Therapy
Alain L Fymat is a medical-physical scientist and an educator. He was educated at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and the University of California at Los Angeles. He is the current President/CEO and Professor at the International Institute of Medicine and Science with a previous appointment as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Professor at the Weil Institute of Critical Care Medicine. He was formerly Professor of Radiology, Radiological Sciences, Radiation Medicine (Oncology), Critical Care Medicine, and Physics at several U.S. and European Universities. Previously, he was Deputy Director (Western Region) of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (Office of Research Oversight), and Director of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center and for a time Acting Chair of Radiology at its Loma Linda, California Medical Center. He has extensively published (~ 425 publications including patents, books & monographs, book chapters, refereed articles). As invited/keynote speaker and member of organizing committees of international congresses and symposia, he has lectured extensively in the USA, Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia. He has been the recipient of numerous research grants from government, academia and private industry, and has consulted extensively with these entities. He is a Board member of several institutions and Health Advisor of the American Heart & Stroke Association (Coachella Valley Division, California). He is Editor-in-Chief, Honorable Editor or Editor of 32 medical-scientific Journals.
Cancer cells are notoriously resistant to drugs intended to kill them by rerouting the signaling networks responsible for cancer cells' growth, proliferation, and survival. A drug may block a particular signaling pathway but within a matter of days (minutes in some cases), cancer cells begin to rely on alternate pathways to promote their survival. The simultaneous use of several drugs (“rational combination therapy”) is meant to attack both the primary and alternate pathways to preemptively block the cancer cells' escape route. Unfortunately, the efficacy of many combination therapies has been limited because drugs have very different chemical properties, which cause them to travel to different parts of the body and enter cancer cells at different rates. The situation is considerably more complicated for brain cancer (glioblastoma multiform or octopus tumor) because the cancer cells extend their tendrils into the surrounding tissue, which is virtually inoperable, resistant to therapies, and always fatal. A major obstacle to treatment is the blood brain barrier or network of blood vessels that allows essential nutrients to enter the brain but block the passage of other substances. I will describe novel nanotechnology approaches for delivering drugs across and around the brain protective barriers.