Alan L. Epstein
The major focus of Dr. Epstein's laboratory research is the development of novel reagents for the detection and treatment of human cancers. Monoclonal antibodies directed against human malignant lymphomas and solid tumors have demonstrated an ability to target and treat cancers in both animal models and in humans. Newer methods are under development which enhance the binding and accumulation of radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies in tumors by altering the vascular physiology of tumor vessels. When used as a pre-treatment, these immunoconjugates produce a localized vascular leakage at the tumor site, and enable a three-fold increase in the delivery of radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies to the tumor compared to untreated controls. In addition, improved methods of antibody delivery are under development using avidin- biotin. Based on these studies, genetic engineering techniques are now being applied to produce chimeric monoclonal antibodies and novel immunoconjugate fusion proteins for cancer therapy. The studies have also generated several new approaches for the radioimmunotherapy of human cancers and have resulted in the initiation of human clinical trials.