Massimo ALFANO

Group Leader Extracellular Microenvironment Unit
Urological Research Institute, DiBit2, Scientific Institute San Raffaele, Milan – ITALY

Detect the undetectable: gold nanorods- assisted imaging and thermal treatment of bladder cancer lesions smaller than 1 mm

Host: S. Zacchigna

The diagnostic imaging does not detect bladder tumor < 1mm, and chemoresistance to intravesical therapy occurs in 50% of bladder cancer patients. As a consequence of technological and therapeutic limitations 60% of bladder cancer patients experience tumor relapse at 3 years follow up, with a consequent poor quality of life and the highest cost per patient among all cancers.

Preclinical model of orthotopic bladder cancer expressing the same target identified on the human bladder in situ carcinoma was used. Photoacoustic imaging of targeted gold nanorods allowed for the detection of bladder tumor lesions < 1mm, and the same contrast agent was exploited for assisted thermal therapy.

We have demonstrated the feasibility of a solution that allows for the detection and thermal therapy of tumors < 1mm at the same time.

Massimo Alfano, PhD, group leader of the Extracellular Microenvironment Unit at IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele (Milan, Italy). Master’s degree of Science and PhD degree at the University of Milan. The focus of his research is to apply knowledge from basic science to techniques and tools that may really address clinical unmet needs. The group collaborates with several national and international researchers with different scientific skills to achieve an integrated vision of the disease, and is supported by peer-reviewed competitive grants and industrial sponsors.


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