ULM logo
ULM professor awarded patent for cancer-fighting discoveries

Published April 30, 2018

University of Louisiana Monroe professor Dr. Girish Shah has received a U.S. Patent for his discoveries which could significantly impact how certain cancers are treated. Shah holds the Mary E. and Darrell L. Calhoun Endowed Chair and is professor of pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy.

Shah discovered the mechanism by which malignant cells escape their organ of origin to spread in other organs, and based on this discovery created compounds which affect the “dissemination of malignant cells … and inhibit cell invasion,” according to the patent. He developed methods focused on preventing metastasis (the spreading of cancer cells from the primary location to other parts of the body).
“Cancer becomes lethal only when it metastasizes to other organs. Our discovery will help control lethality of this disease by attenuating metastatic process, and provide a new option for treating this deadly disease,” said Shah.
The patent was awarded March 30, and is titled “Inhibitor of metastasis, methods of generating such inhibitors and their therapeutic applications.” Cancers referred to in the patent include prostate carcinoma, bladder carcinoma, esophagus cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinomas of lung, ovarian adenocarcinoma, pancreatic carcinoma, and rectal carcinoma. 
“Dr. Shah’s work is very exciting and has great potential to help make improvements in health care.  Awarding of this patent recognizes the uniqueness of his work and helps protect his discoveries,” said Dr. Eric Pani, ULM Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We look forward to his continued research and to bringing this and more of his inventions to commercial markets.”
Shah’s research was funded through a grant from the National Institutes of Health.