Department of Radiation Oncology

Theresa M. Busch

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Theresa M. Busch, Ph.D.

Research Professor of Radiation Oncology
Department: Radiation Oncology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Radiation Biology Division
Department of Radiation Oncology
University of Pennsylvania
Smilow Center for Translational Research, Room 8-126
3400 Civic Center Blvd., Bldg. 421
Philadelphia, PA 19104-5156
Office: 215-573-3168
Education:
B.S. (Biophysics)
University of Scranton, 1993.
Ph.D. (Biophysics)
University of New York at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute Division, Buffalo, NY, 1998.
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Description of Research Expertise

RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Our primary research focus is the investigation of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of solid malignancies. In PDT, diseased tissue is illuminated by specific wavelengths of visible light after the delivery of a photosensitizer to that tissue. The light-excited photosensitizer interacts with oxygen to produce reactive oxygen species that damage the tissue and its associated stroma, including the supporting vascular network.

Our research centers on the study of biophysical limitations of treatment response to PDT. This includes the study of heterogeneities in the distributions of oxygen, photosensitizing drug, and light. Our studies have found that PDT can create widespread, severe hypoxia during illumination, even in tumor cells immediately adjacent to perfused blood vessels. Furthermore, noninvasive monitoring has shown PDT effect on tumor oxygenation and blood flow during the illumination period to be predictive of an animal’s long-term response to therapy. Such findings are extremely relevant to clinical PDT applications, where significant heterogeneity in hypoxia and photosensitizer distributions among the tumors of PDT patients will contribute to variable therapeutic outcomes. Indeed, we have documented a relationship between biochemical (PSA) response to PDT in prostate cancer patients and levels of photosensitizer drug and light energy in their prostates. Ultimately, in order to improve the clinical therapeutic index and efficacy of PDT, we aim to alter the microenvironment of tumors undergoing treatment as guided by noninvasive monitoring of their response.

Selected Publications

Cramer GM, Simone CB 2nd, Busch TM, Cengel KA: Adjuvant, neoadjuvant, and definitive radiation therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Journal of Thoracic Disease 10(21), Aug 2018.

Davis RW 4th, Papasavvas E, Klampasta A, Putt M, Montaner LJ, Culligan MJ, McNulty S, Friedberg JS, Simone CB 2nd, Singhal S, Albelda SM, Cengel KA, Busch TM: A preclinical model to investigate the role of surgically-induced inflammation in tumor responses to intraoperative photodynamic therapy. Lasers Surg Med 50(5): 440-450, July 2018.

Yan L, Amirshaghaghi A, Huang D, Miller J, Stein JM, Busch TM, Cheng Z, Tsourkas A: Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX)-Coated Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticle (SPION) Nanoclusters for Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Photodynamic Therapy Adv Funct Mater 28(16), Apr 17 2018.

Ahn PH, Finlay JC, Gallagher-Colombo SM, Quon H, O'Malley BW Jr, Weinstein GS, Chalian A, Malloy K, Sollecito T, Greenberg M, Simone CB 2nd, McNulty S, Lin A, Zhu TC, Livolsi V, Feldman M, Mick R, Cengel KA, Busch TM: Lesion oxygenation associates with clinical outcomes in premalignant and early stage head and neck tumors treated on a phase 1 trial of photodynamic therapy. Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther 21: 28-35, Mar 2018.

Mohapatra PP, Chiemezie CO, Kligman A, Kim MM, Busch TM, Zhu TC, Greer: 31P NMR Evidence for Peroxide Intermediates in Lipid Emulsion Photooxidations: Phosphine Substituent Effects in Trapping. Photochem Photobiol 93(6): 1430-1438, Nov 2017.

Qiu H, Kim MM, Penjweini R, Finlay JC, Busch TM, Wang T, Guo W, Cengel KA, Simone CB 2nd, Glatstein E, Zhu TC.: A Comparison of Dose Metrics to Predict Local Tumor Control for Photofrin-mediated Photodynamic Therapy. Photochemistry and Photobiology 2017.

Yan L, Miller J, Yuan M, Liu JF, Busch TM, Tsourkas A, Cheng Z: Improved Photodynamic Therapy Efficacy of Protoporphyrin IX-Loaded Polymeric Micelles Using Erlotinib Pretreatment. Biomacromolecules 2017.

Ahn PH, Quon H, O'Malley BW, Weinstein G, Chalian A, Malloy K, Atkins JH, Sollecito T, Greenberg M, McNulty S, Lin A, Zhu TC, Finlay JC, Cengel K, Livolsi V, Feldman M, Mick R, Busch TM: Toxicities and early outcomes in a phase 1 trial of photodynamic therapy for premalignant and early stage head and neck tumors. Oral Oncology 55: 37-42, Apr 2016.

Ghogare AA, Miller JM, Mondal B, Lyons AM, Cengel KA, Busch TM, Greer A: Fluorinated Photodynamic Therapy Device Tips and their Resistance to Fouling for In Vivo Sensitizer Release. Photochemistry and Photobiology 92(1): 166-72, Jan 2016.

Grossman CE, Carter SL, Czupryna J, Wang L, Putt ME, Busch TM: Fluence Rate Differences in Photodynamic Therapy Efficacy and Activation of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor after Treatment of the Tumor-Involved Murine Thoracic Cavity. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 17(1): 101, Jan 2016.

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Last updated: 08/13/2018
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