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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

nova.edu/prmc

SharkBytes Archives

Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954
communications@nova.edu

NSU Research Spotlight: Cancer Research

Appu in his lab2

Appu Rathinavelu, Ph.D.

During his graduate studies nearly 30 years ago, Appu Rathinavelu, now a Ph.D., visited a cancer research institute in India where he witnessed patients facing serious side effects from chemotherapy drugs. This experience inspired him to pursue a field that allowed him to develop new therapeutic approaches that are less toxic, more affordable, and have better results.

When he joined NSU’s College of Pharmacy in 1992 and began conducting research that will make a significant difference in countless lives, he moved closer to making his dream a reality. He and his team at NSU’s Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research are focused on developing new methods for early detection of cancer and discovering new drugs that provide less toxic treatments for cancer. Their work is partially funded by the generous support of the Royal Dames of Cancer Research Inc., a philanthropic organization based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that has been dedicated to funding cancer research at NSU for more than 40 years.

Among other achievements, Rathinavelu has received U.S. patents for two anti-angiogenic agents. These agents, designed specifically to help fight breast, ovarian, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers, would “starve” cancerous tumors by blocking blood vessel formation and preventing the tumors from receiving nutrients and oxygen for their growth. This could eventually lead to shrinkage of tumors. Under Rathinavelu’s leadership, NSU is planning to enter into a collaborative agreement with pharmaceutical companies to take these drugs to early stage clinical trials. His team is also identifying active compounds that are naturally found in plants and other sources to help enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy. This invention is awaiting patent approval.
“These discoveries could be a potential break-through in the fight against cancer,” said Rathinavelu. “Cancer is a modern epidemic that has taken far too many lives. It’s time for us to reverse the trend.”