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UConn Health Department of Cell Biology

Henry Smilowitz

Associate Professor
Department of Cell Biology

Contact

Phone: 860-679-2710
Email: smilowitz@uchc.edu
Office: E2037

UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue 
Farmington, CT 06030


Research Interests

a. Use of gold nanoparticles for tumor imaging, vascular imaging and as a radiation enhancer for tumor therapy.

b. Use of iron and gold nanoparticles for tumor hyperthermia

c. Development of novel brain tumor therapies for experimental, advanced, imminently lethal intracerebral malignant gliomas and melanomas in rats and mice using a combination of radiation therapy and immunotherapy.

d. Novel biomarkers in human breast cancer.

Research Projects

Our laboratory is involved in a number of research projects in the fields of cancer, cancer immunotherapy, cancer therapy, tumor and vascular imaging, as can be seen by the following publications.  Please contact the Smilowitz Lab for specific projects.

1. Experimental Therapeutics of Brain Tumors: We introduce glioma or melanoma cells into rat or mouse brains and allow the tumors to occupy about 2% of the brain (analogous to human brain tumors at the time of diagnosis) before therapy is started. We first treat with a form of radiation therapy followed by a form of experimental immunotherapy under development. A variety of immunological assays are performed in addition to survival studies.  

Selected Publications

Henry M. Smilowitz, Peggy L. Micca, Daniel Sasso, Qian Wu, Nathanial Dyment, Crystal Xue, Lynn Kuo. (2016) Increasing radiation dose improves immunotherapy outcome and prolongation of tumor dormancy in a subgroup of mice treated for advanced intracerebral melanoma. Cancer Immunol Immunother 65:127–139. pdf

Smilowitz HM, Micca PL, Sasso D, Wu Q, Dyment N, Kuo L. 2015. Increasing radiation dose greatly improves the efficxacy of immunotherapy in a subgroup of mice. Both Radiation and immunotherapy promote intracerebral melanoma dormancy. Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy 65: 127-39 pdf

Qiu Z, Huang H, Greiner J, Perez OA, Smilowitz HM, Adler B, Khanna KM. 2015. Cytomegalovirus-Based Vaccine Expressing a Modified Tumor Antigen Induces Potent Tumor-Specific CD8(+) T-cell Response and Protects Mice from Melanoma. Cancer Immunology Research 3:0F1-0F11. pdf

Smilowitz, H.M., Sasso, D., Lee, E., Goh, G., Micca, P.L., Dilmanian, F.A. 2013. Therapy model for advanced intracerebral B16 mouse melanoma using radiation therapy combined with immunotherapy.  Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy 62:1187-1197 pdf

Smilowitz, H.M., Slatkin, D.N., Micca, P.L., Miura, M. 2013. Microlocalization of lipophilic porphyrins, nontoxic enhancers of boron neutron capture therapy. International Journal of Radiation Biology  89:611-617.pdf

Stoklasek, T., Colpitts, SL, Smilowitz, H.M. and Lefrancois, L 2010.  MHC Class I and TCR avidity control the CD8 T cell response to IL15/IL15Ra  complex J. Immunol. 185: 6857-6865. pdf

Smilowitz, H.M., Weissenberger, J.,O'Neill, R.,Brown, J., Weis , J. and Laissue, J.A.  2007.  Orthotopic transplantation of v-src expressing glioma cell lines into immunocompetent mice: establishment of a new transplantable in vivo model for malignant gliomas.  J. Neurosurgery 106: 1-8 (PMID 18644191). pdf

Smilowitz, H.M., D.N. Slatkin, N. Lubimova, H. Blattman, E. Brauer-Krisch, A. Bravin,M. Di Michiel, J. Stepanek, G. Le Duc, J.-O. Gebbers, J.A. Laissue. 2006. Synergy of gene mediated immunoprophylaxis and microbeam radiation therapy (MRT)  for advanced intracerebral rat 9L gliosarcomas.  J. Neuro-Oncology  78:135-143 (PMID 16598429). pdf

Smilowitz, H.M., J.A. Coderre, M.M. Nawrocky, A. Pinkerton, W. Tu and D.N. Slatkin. 2002. The combination of X-ray-mediated radiosurgery and gene-mediated immunoprophylaxis of an advanced intracerebral gliosarcoma in rats. J. Neuro-Oncology. 57: 9-18 (PMID12125969). pdf

Laissue, J.A., H. Blattmann, M. Di Michiel, D.N. Slatkin, N. Lyubimova, R. Guzman, W. Zimmermann, T. Bley, P. Kircher, R. Stettler, R. Fatzer, A. Jaggy, H.M. Smilowitz, E. Brauer, A. Bravin, G. Le Duc, C. Nemoz, M. Renier, W. Thomlinson,J. Stepanek and H.P. Wagner.2001. Weanling piglet cerebellum: a surrogate for tolerance to MRT (Microbeam Radiation Therapy) in pediatric neuro-oncology. In. Penetrating Radiation Systems and Applications III, H. Roehrig, F. P. Doty, R. C. Schirato, E.J. Morton, Editors.  Proceedings of SPIE, 4508: 65-73 (PMID N/A).

Miura, M., D.D. Joel, H.M. Smilowitz, M.M. Nawrocky, P.L. Micca, D.A. Hoch, J.A. Coderre and D.N. Slatkin. 2001. Biodistribution of copper carboranyltetraphenylporphyrins in rodents bearing human or isogeneic neoplasms. J. Neuro-Oncology, 52: 111-117 (PMID11508810). pdf

Weiner, R.E., D.E. Sasso, M.A. Gionfriddo, R.S. Thrall, S.S. Syrbu, H.M. Smilowitz, and J.Vento. 2001. Early detection of oleic acid-induced acute lung injury in rats using 111In labeled antibody directed against intracellular adhesion molecule-1. J. Nuclear Medicine, 42: 1109-1115 (PMID 11438635). pdf

Smilowitz, H.M., D.D. Joel, D.N. Slatkin, P.L. Micca, M.M. Nawrocky, K. Youngs, W. Tu and J.A.   Coderre. 2000. Long-term immunological memory in the resistance of rats to transplantable intracerebral 9L gliosarcoma (9LGS) following subcutaneous immunization with unmodified and X-irradiated 9LGS. J. Neuro-Oncology, 43:193-203 (PMID 10902851). pdf

Smilowitz, H.M., P.L. Micca, M.M. Nawrocky, D.N. Slatkin, W. Tu  and J.A. Coderre. 2000. The combination of boron neutron-capture therapy and immunoprophylaxis for advanced intracerebral gliosarcomas in rats. J. Neuro-Oncology, 43:231-240 (109032854). pdf


2. Gold Enhanced Radiation Therapy; Vascular and Tumor Imaging; Gold and Iron Nanoparticle Hyperthermia. We are working collaboratively with a company on Long Island that has developed novel preparations of gold and iron nanoparticles. These non-toxic particles can be injected iv at very high doses. Larger particles circulate for extended periods, while smaller particles are excreted by the kidney. We are working on several projects to develop novel therapies and diagnostic tests that can be performed with these agents:

·         Gold Enhanced Radiation Therapy: We have shown that gold nanoparticles can greatly increase the radiation dose a tumor receives and are therefore useful as radiation enhancers. We are currently working on breast cancer, bladder cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and glioma models.
 ·         Gold Enhanced Imaging: We are working on several imaging projects including the development of virtual colonoscopy, breast cancer imaging, gold-based angiography, and kidney imaging.  
·         Iron and Gold Nanoparticle Mediated Hyperthermia: We are developing novel therapies whereby gold and iron nanoparticles can be used to treat tumors with hyperthermia.   
Selected Publications

Hainfeld, J.F., Lin L, Slatkin D.N., Dilmanian F.A., Smilowitz H.M. 2014. Gold nanoparticle hyperthermia reduces radiation dose.  Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. 10:1609-1617.

Hainfeld, J.F.,  O’Connor, M.J., Lin, P., Qian, L., Slatkin, D.N. Smilowitz, H.M. 2014. Infrared-transparent gold nanoparticles converted by tumors to infrared absorbers cure tumors in mice by photothermal therapy. PLoS 9:e88414.

Hainfeld, J.F., Smilowitz, H.M., O’Connor, M.J., Dilmanian, F.A., Slatkin, D.N. 2012. Gold nanoparticle imaging and radiotherapy of brain tumors in mice. Nanomedicine London (Future Medicine).8:1601-1609. pdf

Hainfeld, J.F., O’Connor, M.J., Dilmanian, F.A., Slatkin, D.N., Adams, D.J., Smilowitz, H.M. 2011. MicroCT enables microlocalization and quantification of Her-2-targeted gold nanoparticles within tumor regions.  British Journal of Radiology, 84:526-533.(PMID 21081567).

Hainfeld, J.F., O’Connor, M.J., Lin, P.P., Smilowitz, H.M. 2010 Cancer therapy with wIRA and gold nanoparticles in water-filtered and infrared-A radiation: From Basic Principles to Clinical Applications.

Hainfeld, J.F., Dilmanian, F.A., Zhong Z., Slatkin, D.N., Smilowitz, H.M. 2010 Gold nanoparticles enhance radiation therapy of a squamous cell carcinoma growing in mice. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 55: 3045-3059 (PMID 20463371). pdf

Hainfeld, J.F., Slatkin, D.N., Dilmanian, F.A., Smilowitz, H.M. 2008. Radiotherapy enhancement with gold nanoparticles. J. Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 60: 977-985 (PMID 18644191) Volume 60 #8 is a Special Issue: Radiation Biology – Can New Concepts Achieve Better Treatment Outcomes? JPP has informed us that this paper is one of the top 25 most downloaded papers in 2008, >100X through 12/08. pdf

Hainfeld, J.F., Slatkin, D.N., Focella, T., Smilowitz, H. 2006. Gold nanoparticles  as X Ray contrast agents. British Journal of Radiology. 79: 248-253 (PMID 16498039). pdf

Hainfeld, J.F., Slatkin, D. N.,  Smilowitz, H.M. 2004. The use of gold nanoparticles to enhance radiotherapy in mice.  Physics in Medicine and Biology, 49: N309 (PMID 15509078). Note: This paper has been selected for inclusion in Institute of Physics (IOP) Select, Institute of Physics, London, England.