Matthew Gdovin, an associate professor in the UTSA Department of Biology, has developed a newly patented method to kill cancer cells. His discovery, described in research published in The Journal of Clinical Oncology, may tremendously help people with inoperable or hard-to-reach tumors, as well as young children stricken with cancer.
Gdovin’s top-tier research involves injecting a chemical compound, nitrobenzaldehyde, into the tumor and allowing it to diffuse into the tissue. He then aims a beam of light at the tissue, causing the cells to become very acidic inside and, essentially, commit suicide. Within two hours, Gdovin estimates up to 95 percent of the targeted cancer cells are dead.
“Even though there are many different types of cancers, the one thing they have in common is their susceptibility to this induced cell suicide,” he said.
Gdovin tested his method against triple negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive types of cancer and one of the hardest to treat. The prognosis for triple negative breast cancer is usually very poor. After one treatment in the laboratory, he was able to stop the tumor from growing and double chances of survival in mice.