Areas of Interest
Clinical pharmacology of cancer chemotherapy, emphasizing regional effects of agents and on improvement of antimetabolite selectivity for tumor cell.
Dr. Ensminger's research focuses on more selective drug use in cancer therapy. One aspect is the study of mechanisms to increase regional therapeutic effect with liver cancer and brain tumors. Increased regional drug exposure is measured directly in assays for drug levels. Selective manipulation of the tumor microcirculation for therapeutic microsphere treatment is being examined using vasoactive agents. Preclinical studies involve monkeys, dogs, mice and rats. Pharmacodynamic studies are conducted measuring DNA incorporation (target effect) with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine to ascertain best dose-schedule and route of administration for increased selective target effect in tumors as compared to normal tissues. Another aspect of this research concerns biochemical modulation of tumor and normal cells with nucleosides and antifols. There is extensive interaction between ongoing preclinical experimentation and clinical pharmacologic studies in patients with cancer.