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Mladen Korbelik, PhD

Distinguished Scientist - Imaging Unit - Integrative Oncology   Rm 6-112 ▪ 675 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V5Z 1L3, Canada

 Current Appointments:Mladen

Distinguished Scientist - Imaging Unit, Integrative Oncology - BC Cancer Agency

Clinical Professor – Pathology and Laboratory Medicine – University of British Columbia


Research Interests:

Dr. Mladen Korbelik (Ph.D. Biology, 1979) has first participated in the work of B.C. Cancer Research Centre as a postdoctoral student (1980-1982), and has been continuously on scientific staff since 1987.  His main research interest focuses on host responses to tumor trauma-inflicting therapy.  Unlike cancer therapies targeting DNA (including radiotherapy and classical chemotherapy) that produce no immediate cancer cell death, treatment modalities such as hyperthermia, photodynamic therapy (PDT), cryotherapy, or sonodynamic therapy result in a rapid tumor cell killing and are experienced by the host as a localized trauma.  The insult they inflict provokes the host to launch protective actions evolved for dealing with threat to tissue integrity and homeostasis at the affected site.  This is dominated by a strong tumor-concentrated acute inflammatory reaction that can lead to a breakdown of tumor immunotolerance and development of immune response against the treated tumor.  In his research, Dr. Korbelik’s works on characterizing host responses elicited by PDT of solid tumors; in addition to inflammatory and antitumor innate and adaptive immune responses this includes the associated acute phase response and participation of hormonal and neural systems.  One of principal aims of this research is finding optimal strategies for exploiting the potentials presented by the engagement of these host responses, which has resulted in identifying immunotherapy treatments that potentiate PDT-mediated tumor cures.  One specific application of considerable interest is the development of PDT-generated cancer vaccines.  Dr. Korbelik is also interested in the development of hyperthermia using laser-treated nanoparticles and establishment of sonodynamic therapy.

Publications (Last 5 years):

  1. Korbelik M.  Role of cell stress signaling networks in cancer cell death and antitumor immune response following proteotoxic injury inflected by photodynamic therapy.  Lasers Surg Med.  2018 Mar 7 [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Boppana NB, Kraveka JM, Rahmaniyan M, Li LI, Bielawska A, Bielawski J, Pierce JS, Delor JS, Zhang K, Korbelik M, Separovic D.  Fumonisin B1 inhibits endoplasmic reticulum stress associated-apoptosis after FoscanPDT combined with C6-Pyridinium ceramide or fenretinide.  Anticancer Res.  2017 Feb; 37(2):455-463
  3. Korbelik M, Banath J, Zhang W.  Mreg activity in tumor response to photodynamic therapy and photodynamic therapy-generated cancer vaccines.  Cancers (Basel). 2016 Oct 15;8(10).
  4. Korbelik M, Banath J, Zhang W, Saw KM, Szulc ZM, Bielawska A, Separovic D.  Interaction of acid ceramidase inhibitor LCL521 with tumor response to photodynamic therapy and photodynamic therapy-generated vaccine. In J Cancer. 2016 Sep 15; 139(6):1372-8
  5. Boppana NB, Stochaj U, Kodiha M, Bielawska A, Bielawski J, Pierce JS, Korbelik M, Separovic D. Enhanced killing of SCC17B human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells after photodynamic therapy + fenretinide via de novo sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway and apoptosis.  Int. J. Oncology. 46:2003-2010. 2015 Feb 26. Doi: 10.3892/ijo
  6. Korbelik M, Banáth J, Saw KM, Zhang W, Čiplys E. (invited paper): Calreticulin as cancer treatment adjuvant: combination with photodynamic therapy and photodynamic therapy-generated vaccines.  Front. Oncol. 5:15. Doi: 10.3389/fonc.2015.00015, 2015.
  7. Korbelik M and Hamblin MR. (invited paper): The impact of macrophage-cancer cell interaction on the efficacy of photodynamic therapy.  Photochem. Photobiol. Sci (DOI: 10.1039/C4PP00451E, 2015).
  8. Boppana NB, Stochaj U, Kodiha M, Bielawska A, Bielawski J, Pierce JS, Korbelik M, Separovic D. C6-pyridinium ceramide sensitizes SCC17B human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells to photodynamic therapy.  J. Photochem. Photobiol. B., 143: 163-168, 2015.
  9. Lucas LJ, Chen XK, Smith AJ, Korbelik M, Zeng H, Lee PWK, Hewitt KC. Aggregation of nanoparticles in endosomes and lysosomes produce surface enhance Raman spectroscopy.  J. Nanophoton. 9(1), 093094 (2015). doi:10.1117/1.JNP.9.093094.
  10. Kepp O, Senovilla L, Vitale I, Vacchelli E, Adjemian S, Agostinis P, Apetoh L, Aranda F, Barnaba V, Bloy N, Bracci L, Breckpot K, Brough D, Baque A, Castro MG, Cirone M, Colombo MI,  Cremer I, Demaria S, Dini L, Eliopoulos A, Faggioni A, Forment SC, Fučikova J, Gabriele L, Gaipl US, Galon J, Garg A, Ghiringhelli F, Giese NA, Guo ZS, Hemminki A, Herrmann M, Hodge JW, Holdenrieder S, Honeychurch J, Hu HM, Huang X, Illidge TM, Kono K, Korbelik M, Krysko DV, Loi S, Lowenstein PR, Lugli E, Ma Y, Madeo F, Manfredi AA, Martins I, Matzinger P, Mavillio D, Menger L, Merendino N, Michaud M, Mignot G, Mossman KL, Multhoff G, Oehler R, Palombo F, Panaretakis T, Pol J, Prioetti E, Ricci JE, Riganti C, Rovere-Querini P, Rubartelli A, Sistigu A, Smyth MJ, Sonnenmann J, Spisek R, Stagg J, Sukkurwala AQ, Tartour E, Thorburn A, Thorne SH, Vandenabeele P, Velotti F, Workenhe ST, Yang H, Zong WX, Zitvogel L, Kroemer G, Galuzzi L. Consensus guidelines for the detection of immunogenic cell death.  OncoImmunology 3:9, e955691, 2014
  11. Boppana NB, Kodiha M, Stochaj U, Lin HS, Haimovitz-Friedman A, Bielawska A, Bielawski J, Divine GW, Boyd JA, Korbelik M, Separovic D.  Ceramide synthase inhibitor fumonisin B inhibits apoptotic cell death in SCC17B human head and neck squamous carcinoma cells after Pc4 photosensitization.  Photochem. Photobiol. Sci, 13: 1621-1627, 2014 (DOI: 10.1039/C4PP00292J).
  12. Korbelik M, Banáth J, Zhang W, Wong F, Bielawski J, Separovic D. (invited paper): Ceramide and sphingosine-1-phosphate/sphingosine act as photodynamic therapy-elicited damage-associated molecular patterns: Release from cells and impact on tumor-associated macrophages.  J Anal Bioanal Tech S1: 009, 2014 (doi: 10.4172/2155-9872.S1-009). Korbelik M, Banáth J, Canals D, Hannun YA, Separovic D. Ceramide and sphingosine-1-phosphate act as photodynamic therapy-elicited damage-associated molecular patterns: Cell surface exposure.  Int. Immunopharmacol, 20: 359-365, 2014.
  13. Separovic D, Breen P, Boppana NB, Van Buren E, Joseph N, Kraveka JM, Rahmaniyan M, Li L, Gudz TI, Bielawska A, Bai A, Bielawski J, Pierce JS, Korbelik M. Increased killing of SCCVII squamous cell carcinoma cells after the combination of Pc 4 photodynamic therapy and dasatinib is associated with enhanced caspase-3 activity and ceramide synthase 1 upregulation.  Int. J. Oncol. 43: 2064-2072, 2013 (doi: 10.3892/ijo.2013.2132).
  14. Korbelik M, Zhang W, Saw KM, Szulc ZM, Bielawska A and Separovic D. Cationic ceramides and analogues, LCL30 and LCL85, as adjuvants to photodynamic therapy of tumors.  J. Photochem. Photobiol. 126: 72-77, 2013.