Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.8

Nanobiotechnology for earlier detection and diagnosis of cancer - summer specialization program between Saitama University, Japan and St. Luke's College of Medicine and University of Santo Tomas, Philippines

Report from Saitama University

During the period 8/6 ~ 8/15 10 undergraduate students from St. Luke's College of Medicine and University of Santo Tomas, Philippines were invited in Saitama University through Sakura Exchange Program in Science. Eight of them are medical students and two were students in molecular biology. The purpose of the summer program in Saitama University was to introduce the medical students who are preparing for a future career in the field of oncology in the modern nanobiotechnological techniques and methods to detect single cancerous cells in vivo. With the aid of novel nanoparticles and nanomachines together with and advanced optical devices they could quantify multiple specific biomarkers in the individual mutated cells. This approach improves significantly the current clinical and histopathological methods for diagnosis of pancreatic and other cancers.

photo1 First day at the front of the campus of Saitama University (with Prof. Alexandre Loukanov).

At the very beginning, the students were welcomed by the Vice President Prof. Seiichiro Nakabayashi and Prof. Makoto Nagasawa at Saitama University. After that our members organized a lab tour, where the guests were highly impressed from the laboratory facilities and the infrastructure of Saitama University as well as the huge library. All of the Philippines students, together with our Japanese students participated in the performance of laboratory research demonstrations.

photo2 Implementation of laboratory research tasks (under supervision of Prof. Ryuzo Kawamura).

We showed unique optical microscopes and apparatus for study and diagnosis of various types cancer at single cells level. Prof. Ryuzo Kawamura introduced the coordinative functions of motor membrane proteins on cancer cells. Prof. Naritaka Kobayashi demonstrated atomic-scale processes on cancer cell membrane by visualization through frequency modulation atomic force microscopy. In such a way the students learned how powerful is the biological atomic force microscope for cancer research and onco-pathology. Prof. Hiroshi Yoshikawa presented the cell softening biophysics in malignant progressions. At the end, Prof. Alexandre Loukanov explained the potential of nanomachines and nanorobots for development of powerful and precise anticancer medication in the further nanomedicine. Thus the students were particularly interested about the current use of nanoparticles and nanotechnology in the modern medical practices. For example, novel molecular contrast agents that enable earlier and accurate detection of cancer. We discussed about the possibilities for future introduction of the Japanese experience in the field of medical nanotechnology in the hospitals of Philippines.

During the summer course we had a rare chance to visit Saitama Cancer Center and Saitama Cancer Hospital. At the cancer Center the students attended interesting lectures given by top researchers in Cancer Sciences in Japan. After the workshop the director Prof. Takehiko Kamijo offered us a lab tour in the whole institute. All researchers were so kind to explain in details about their scientific projects and important achievements. Prof. Masami Suganuma presented biophysical approach for cancer prevention by treatment with green tea catechins. Her group presented even new anticancer medication based on the green tea which has been developed in her laboratory.

photo3 Visit of Saitama Cancer Center with the kind permission with the director Prof. Takehiko Kamijo.

There was a great opportunity for the students to visit the Cancer Hospital and to see the most advanced medical technology for cancer detection and diagnosis. In the hospital we had access to the clinical laboratories for analysis of tumor biopsy.

photo4 At the front of Saitama Cancer Hospital with Prof. Masami Suganuma and Prof. Hiroshi Yoshikawa.

At the weekend we decided to enjoy the high tech exhibition at Miraikan Museum, Odaiba. The students were highly impressed from the modern technological achievements in Japan about life and medical sciences.

In the last day all students gave impressive oral presentations about the knowledge they learned in Saitama University during Sakura program. They were awarded with certificates. The summer program ended with a sushi party.

photo5 Awarding ceremony with Prof. Alexandre Loukanov, Prof. Hiroshi Yoshikawa and Prof. Ryuzo Kawamura.
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