Dr. Anna Wu's research focuses on understanding and using molecular recognition (protein-protein, nucleic acid-nucleic acid and protein-nucleic acid) to distinguish tumor cells from normal cells and to develop practical applications in oncology - diagnostic or therapeutic.
Her recent work has focused on genetic engineering of antibodies to provide optimal agents for delivery of radionuclides to tumor cells. Monoclonal antibodies specific for human tumor antigens have been re-engineered to reduce immunogenicity (by chimerization or humanization), and engineered fragments with improved pharmacokinetic properties have been produced. Biological therapies based on engineered antibodies are also under investigation, including retargeting T-cells using antibody-T-cell receptor fusion proteins, and intracellular expression of single-chain antibodies.
New biological probes for imaging are being developed. Antibodies, peptides and oligonucleotides tagged with positron-emitting isotopes can provide highly specific tools for examining gene expression and function in cells and tissues, and ultimately, patients.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Olafsen T, Sirk SJ, Olma S, Shen CK, Wu AM. ImmunoPET using engineered antibody fragments: fluorine-18 labeled diabodies for same-day imaging. Tumour Biol. 2012 Jun;33(3):669-77. Epub 2012 Mar 6
Kenanova VE, Olafsen T, Salazar FB, Williams LE, Knowles S, Wu AM. Tuning the serum persistence of human serum albumin domain III:diabody fusion proteins. Protein Eng Des Sel. 2010 Oct;23(10):789-98. Epub 2010 Aug 28
Lepin EJ, Leyton JV, Zhou Y, Olafsen T, Salazar FB, McCabe KE, Hahm S, Marks JD, Reiter RE, Wu AM. An affinity matured minibody for PET imaging of prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA)-expressing tumors. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2010 Aug;37(8):1529-38. Epub 2010 Apr 1
Olafsen T, Betting D, Kenanova VE, Salazar FB, Clarke P, Said J, Raubitschek AA, Timmerman JM, Wu AM. Recombinant anti-CD20 antibody fragments for small-animal PET imaging of B-cell lymphomas. J Nucl Med. 2009 Sep;50(9):1500-8. Epub 2009 Aug 18
Wu AM, Olafsen T. Antibodies for molecular imaging of cancer. Cancer J. 2008 May-Jun;14(3):191-7.