Spring 2005 Table of Contents
Recruiting the Best
NYUCD Recruits Immunotherapy Expert Dr. Fang-An Chen

Dr. Fang-An Chen
Adjunct Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
In a move designed to further strengthen its cancer research program, NYUCD has appointed Dr. Fang-An Chen, an immunotherapy expert and former NYU School of Medicine faculty member, as an Adjunct Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Dr. Chen brings with him a $1 million, three-year NIH grant, "Biodegradable Hydrogel Mediated Anti-Cancer Immunotherapy." The study seeks to assess the impact of injecting a time-release interleukin formulation into human tumors grafted onto immunodeficient mice. Although the anti-tumor and anti-viral effects of interleukins are well-known, their use in systemic injections has been linked to severe side effects and, in some cases, death. Dr. Chen will evaluate whether or not the tumor injection mobilizes human lymphocytes implanted in the tumor to mount an immune response, thus bypassing the severe side effects derived from systemic administration. His study is the first to assess whether injecting a time-release interleukin formulation into a tumor leads to a more evenly distributed and sustained immune response.

Associate Dean for Research Dr. Louis Terracio said: "We look forward to synergy between Dr. Chen and faculty members involved in research on cancer's earlier stages, such as Dr. Joseph B. Guttenplan and Dr. Peter G. Sacks, both Professors of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology. Dr. Guttenplan is evaluating how estrogen metabolites damage DNA and trigger breast cancer in laboratory mice, and Dr. Sacks is researching the process by which precancerous mouth lesions turn malignant. By sharing their expertise, the three researchers will contribute to a broader understanding of cancer's progression and the development of highly targeted prevention and treatment strategies."