Mustafa Kemal RUHİ – Biography

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Mustafa Kemal Ruhi, PhD

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Protoporphyrin IX-based Fluorescence-Guided Tumor Resection and Photodynamic Therapy of Cancer

About the Seminar:

Surgical resection is one of the primary options in the treatment of solid tumors, along with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Although pre-operative imaging techniques provide structural information of tumors, the success of the surgery is still mainly dependent on the surgeon’s visual ability of distinguishing tumors from other tissue under white light. Creating a visual difference between tumor and healthy cells using fluorescence allows surgeons to determine the tumor margins. Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) is an endogenous fluorophore with good fluorescence and photosensitizing activity. Under normal conditions, PpIX is converted to the end product, heme, by chelation with ferrous iron in mitochondria. The administration of excess amount of exogenous ALA disrupts the heme biosynthesis pathway and causes significant increase of PpIX within cells. Since cancer cells tend to produce more PpIX than normal cells due to up- and down- regulation of certain enzymes and lack of iron in tumor cells, ALA-mediated PpIX can be used to highlight tumor cells in tumor resection surgeries or to kill cancer cells by photodynamic therapy. This talk will focus on the mechanism and advantages of PpIX-based applications, as well as recent developments in the field.

About the Speaker:

Mustafa Kemal Ruhi received his PhD from Bogazici University Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Istanbul. He is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research topics include photodynamic therapy (PDT)-based combination regimens for ovarian cancer informed by mechanical stress in the tumor microenvironment as well as targeted PDT approaches to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy.