Luksana Chaiswing, PhD
- Assistant Professor
Biography and Education
Ph.D, Mahidol University, Thailand Post-doctoral, University of Wisconsin-Madison Scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison
My research has focused on understanding how redox state (the balance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and antioxidant levels) regulates cancer progression and aggressive cancer phenotypes. We discovered that redox states inside the cells and in the tumor microenvironment, are significantly different in prostate cancer compared to normal prostate, both in cell culture models and in human tissues. Further, we applied cutting-edge technology called “nitroxides-enhanced MRI” to measure the redox state in prostate cancer tissue of living mice. Together, the expression levels of antioxidants (e.g. MnSOD or ECSOD) in prostate cancer biopsies combined with nitroxides-enhanced MRI technique, may serve as biomarkers to identify patients with localized cancers who are likely to progress to aggressive cancers.
We recently received R01 funding from National Cancer Institute (NCI) to investigate if simultaneously killing pre-existing mitochondria in cancer and preventing radiation-induced new mitochondria, would overcome radioresistance and improve radiation therapy. We screened FDA-approved drugs and identified several candidate compounds. We are in the process of identifying the underly mechanism(s) of these compounds that effectively inhibit the survival of post-irradiated cancer cells to improve radiation efficacy.
My laboratory’s research is also a part of a program project that is focusing on a novel approach that can reduce cancer treatments-induced cognitive impairment. We recently identified that redox-modified extracellular vesicles (RedoxEVs), lipid bilayer particles that are naturally released from cells, cause neuron cell death during cancer progression and cancer treatments. Couple with state-of-the-art resources at the University of Kentucky, we expect to provide new tools that can be used to elucidate mechanistic insights that will help to develop effective clinical approaches that designed to decrease cognitive impartment in cancer survivors. I am particularly excited about the potential opportunity and looking forward to the new discoveries that will stem from these projects.