Overview

The Cancer Nanotechnology and Tumor Immunology Laboratory of Betty Y S Kim, M.D., Ph.D., at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida is dedicated to studying the pathophysiology and therapy of a variety of solid cancers involving the brain.

Dr. Kim and her multidisciplinary team in the Cancer Nanotechnology and Tumor Immunology Lab use enhanced imaging technologies, nanomedicine, anti-cancer immunotherapies and biomarkers to advance cancer research and improve treatment for patients who have certain types of brain tumors.

In particular, the lab studies a variety of solid cancers, including:

  • Malignant primary brain tumors, such as malignant astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme
  • Metastatic brain tumors with multiple origins, such as melanoma and breast cancer

Developing an effective therapeutic strategy for metastatic tumors hinges on gaining insights into the nature of the metastatic cascade.

Dr. Kim and her research team use optogenetics and cutting-edge imaging platforms to unravel real-time crosstalk between metastatic cancer cells and the surrounding tumor niche. The goal is to identify novel mediators that regulate the initiation and progression of brain micrometastasis.

Primary and metastatic cancer cells rely on the tumor microenvironment comprised of both malignant cells and various nonmalignant stromal cells and extracellular matrix. This microenvironment not only supports metastatic colonization but also acts as a key obstacle to the delivery and efficacy of anti-cancer treatments.

The Cancer Nanotechnology and Tumor Immunology Lab is exploring innovative approaches to overcome barriers posed by the tumor microenvironment and improve anti-cancer therapies through the integration of nanotechnology, intravital molecular imaging, cancer immunotherapy and anti-angiogenic therapy.