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.
With over 28,000 students, it is the largest university in San Antonio and the eighth-largest (2014) in the state of Texas. Its three campuses span over 747 acres of land, with its main campus being the largest in the University of Texas System. UTSA offers a wide array of academic studies, with 133 undergraduate, 51 graduate and 24 doctoral programs. In 2012 and 2013, it was selected by Times Higher Education as one of the best universities in the world under 50 years old.
UTSA is a member of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, a consortium of the nation’s major doctorate-level universities dedicated to collaboration and scientific advancement. It is an institutional member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, recognizing its influence and role as a Hispanic-serving institution. UTSA is also a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, an organization of public institutions that seek to both offer educational excellence and opportunities to historically under-served populations.
Established in 1969, UTSA has evolved to become the fourth largest institution within the UT System. Through an aggressive expansion of its academic funding, the university devoted over $56 million to research in 2011. Its football team has competed in Conference USA since 2013, previously playing a stint in the WAC and as an FCS independent.
Alongside seven other emerging research institutions, The University of Texas at San Antonio is currently in competition to become Texas’ third flagship university.