Alberta University needed a website for their Hypoxia Research Department. They say it best, so here is from their website:
What We Do
Despite the continued research into new treatments, cancer remains the most serious health challenge facing Canadians. Novel innovative approaches are needed to fight the disease and to manage patients during their treatment. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy remain the mainstay of treatment. Unfortunately, local control and overall survival of many cancer patients remain poor despite aggressive treatments. Research has shown us that a poor response to these therapies is often related to the amount of oxygen that is being delivered to the tumor and to the number and type of blood vessels that are within the tumor. Hypoxic (O2-deficient) tumor tissue presents a formidable challenge to conventional cancer therapy, and is a major contributor to treatment failure.
Our research program is a translational evolution from our ‘bench to bedside’ inventions on bioreductively-activated O2-mimetics IAZA and FAZA that are now established clinical drugs for imaging hypoxic solid tumors. These drugs get into poorly oxygenated areas of tumor, thereby hoping to improve the effectiveness of diagnosis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy without causing much toxicity to healthy cells. We are making serious efforts to transform IAZA and FAZA drugs into ‘next generation’ multimodal molecular theranostic (THERApy+diagNOSTIC+X-ray radiosensitization therapy [XRT], chemotherapy and molecular radiotherapy [(MRT]) drugs. Basic, translational, pre-clinical and clinical evaluations in hypoxic tumor-bearing cancer patients will explore their theranostic potential. Integration of a theranostic radionuclide (I-124 and I-131, Lu-177) and hypoxia-selective binding features of IAZA and FAZA enable a unique and innovative opportunity for more effective theranostic management of the malignant tumors with a significant potential to increase the survival rates in cancer patients.