News

Dr. DaCosta participates in Annual 2021 MBP Career Symposium
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The annual MBP Symposium (which combines the James Lepock Memorial (JLM) Symposium and the annual MBP Alumni Night) is an important MBP event that provides an opportunity for MBP students to present their research in a conference setting. The MBP Symposium fosters scientific debate across disciplines, streams and institutes. MBP students have the opportunity to showcase their research in the form of either a scientific poster or oral presentation at the Symposium, and best presenters are recognized with merit awards. This event also featured keynote addresses from both local and international experts in the field of Medical Biophysics. This event…

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Dr. Niloufar Khosravi featured on U of T Faculty of Dentistry Website
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Niloufar Khosravi, a DaCosta Lab PhD student alumna was recently featured on U of T’s Faculty of Dentistry site. In the Article, “U of T Researchers Map Regenerative Cells in Implant Wounds” Niloufar summarized her work recently published in Biomaterials.

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Intraoperative Fluorescence Imaging with Aminolevulinic Acid Detects Grossly Occult Breast Cancer: A Phase II Randomized Controlled Trial: Manuscript accepted to Breast Cancer Research
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In 2009, the first patient was enrolled at Princess Margaret Cancer Center in this Phase II randomized controlled trial led by Dr. DaCosta in collaboration with surgeons Drs. Wey Leong and Alexandra Easson and pathologist Dr. Susan Done. The goal was to evaluate the clinical safety, feasibility and diagnostic performance of the PRODIGI handheld fluorescence imaging device combined with 5-ALA HCl for intraoperative visualization of invasive breast carcinomas. The Phase II trial was supported in large part by a $3M CIHR grant awarded to the DaCosta lab. Today, over a decade later, the manuscript for this study was accepted for…

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World’s 1st Patient Surgery in Pivotal Phase III breast cancer trial
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  Today marks an important milestone for SBI Canada’s Phase III RCT entitled “Fluorescence Imaging of Carcinoma During Breast Conserving Surgery”, as the first patient surgery was performed successfully at Orlando Health in Orlando, Florida. (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04815083) This trial utilizes the tumor selectivity of 5-ALA combined with the handheld Eagle fluorescence imaging device to enable surgeons to conduct improved intraoperative margin assessment and fluorescence-guided breast conserving surgery. Recruitment of additional clinical trial sites is underway and expected to include 20 surgical centers across Canada and the Unites States, including Princess Margaret Cancer Center.

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Helen Jin is going to Medical School!
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We would like to congratulate Helen Jin on her acceptance into the University of Western Ontario MD Program, knowing she was also accepted to several other prestigious MD programs across Canada. Helen joined the DaCosta Lab in 2019 to pursue her MSc in the Department of Medical Biophysics, UofT and will be graduating in June 2021. During her time as a devoted member of our team, Helen has spearheaded projects and successful peer-reviewed grants (CIHR, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Cancer Research Society) examining leukemia cell biology and potential immunotherapeutic options using a novel murine femur window chamber model to image…

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World’s 1st Patient Enrolled in International FDA Approved Phase III RCT of Breast Cancer Surgery
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Today, SBI ALApharma Canada Inc., a subsidiary of photonamic GmbH & Co. KG (Pinneberg, Germany), a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, Inc. (Minato-ku, Tokyo) announced it has enrolled the first patient in its Pivotal Phase III randomized controlled trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of PD G 506 A (5-ALA HCl) in margin assessment during breast conserving surgery, after receiving FDA IND clearance for the trial in April. Detailed information can be found here. These achievements mark important steps in SBI Canada’s ongoing clinical investigations into the use of 5-ALA’s tumor selectivity and the novel fully handheld Eagle imaging technology for…

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Fluorescence-Guided Breast Cancer Surgery: International Pivotal Phase III RCT receives FDA IND Clearance
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Today, SBI ALApharma Canada Inc., a subsidiary of photonamic GmbH & Co. KG ( Pinneberg, Germany), a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, Inc. (Minato-ku, Tokyo); received FDA Investigational New Drug (IND) clearance for its Pivotal Phase III randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the safety and efficacy of PD G 506 A (5-ALA HCl) in intraoperative margin assessment during breast conserving surgery. This multicenter trial involves over 400 patients across 20 centers across the US and Canada and will use SBI Canada’s patented intraoperative handheld Eagle Fluorescence Imaging SystemTM to visualize 5-ALA-induced protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) fluorescence in real-time in breast cancer tissues during surgery.…

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In Vivo Mesenchymal Progenitor Cell Dynamics: Dr. Niloufar Khosravi publishes in Biomaterials
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Niloufar Khosravi, a DaCosta Lab PhD student alumna, published in Biomaterials today: “New insights into spatio-temporal dynamics of mesenchymal progenitor cell ingress during peri implant wound healing: Provided by intravital imaging”. Abstract Surface topography drives the success of orthopedic and dental implants placed in bone, by directing the biology occurring at the tissue-implant interface. Over the last few decades, striking advancements have been made in the development of novel implant surfaces that enhance bone anchorage to their surfaces through contact osteogenesis: the combination of the two phenomena of recruitment and migration of mesenchymal progenitor cells to the implant surface, and…

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Arcturus Phoon Promoted To Research Analyst
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We would like to congratulate Arcturus Phoon on his recent promotion to Clinical Research Analyst! His hard work and eagerness to take on responsibility is demonstrated every day, and helps propel the DaCosta Lab to new heights. We hope to see Mr. Phoon around the lab for years to come and wish him all the best in his new role!

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Dr. DaCosta discusses the origins of the lab and his serendipitous invention in UHN’s latest Behind the Breakthrough podcast episode
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Behind the Breakthrough, a podcast about the people behind the world-leading research at UHN, features Dr. Ralph DaCosta in Episode 7 of its second season. In this episode, Dr. DaCosta recollects his family’s immigration to Canada, his career path and serendipitous discovery that could revolutionize wound care. Hear about his groundbreaking work in visualizing cancer, his adventure becoming an inventor and entrepreneur, and how Terry Fox was the inspiration for his drive to enter cancer research.

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