Professor, Chemistry; Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Cancer and Physical Sciences,Women's Cancer
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Dr. Hoffman's research program focuses on the development of novel tumor imaging agents based on porphyrin analogues, called porphyrazines. One use is as optical imaging contrast agents. Tissue does not absorb light at wavelengths beyond the absorbance of hemoglobin, ~ 750 nm, as can be seen by holding a flashlight up to one's hand. Recent work has shown that optical imaging of breast tumors holds great promise of offering an effective, safe, noninvasive and inexpensive breast-tumor imaging modality. Dr. Hoffman has shown that porphyrazines localize preferentially in neoplastic tissue and possess the required intense, long-wavelength absorption and emission needed for optical tumor imaging. Such imaging may include tumor diagnosis, but perhaps is most promising as a means of intra-operative assessment of tumor margins. Preferential tumor accumulation of porphyrazines further allows their use a vectors that carry MR contrast agents into tumors, making them candidates as dual-modality, optical/MR contrast agents.