The research goal of the Prakash lab is to design and develop new cell-specific targeting strategies to address fibrosis and fibrosis-driven cancer. Fibrosis or scarring is described as the excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) in an organ, which may lead to dysfunction of the organ and eventually death. In recent years, the contribution of fibrosis in cancer has received enormous attention due to its contribution in inducing tumor progression and metastasis. In addition, fibrotic stromal tissue hampers drug delivery to the tumors, thereby reducing therapeutic efficacy of anticancer agents. The following are the major areas in which his team is actively working on:
Identify Targets in the Tumor Microenvironment
Identifying novel targets in the tumor microenvironment is crucial to develop innovative treatments against cancer. We have identified several key targets in the environment of different types of cancer that are highly specific for the tumor of interest. (To be completed).
Modulation of the Tumor Microenvironment
(To be completed)
3D Models of the Tumor Microenvironment
Three-dimensional (3D) culture models such as spheroids better resemble the in vivo situation compared to 2D models, and more realistically recapitulate the tumor microenvironment offering advantages of resembling in vivo tumor microenvironment, enabling thereby a better understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms and cell-matrix interactions. Furthermore, they can facilitate better screening of nanomedicines. 3D in vitro models also yield more predictive in vitro data and support the reduction of animal studies which are costly and suffering from high failures rates; for all these reasons, 3D in vitro models are particularly attractive for screening of clinically relevant properties of nanomedicines.