Local activation of cancer medicine via bioreactors at the cancerous tissue – more effective, flexible and safer

PhD defence, Monday, 22 October 2018. Morten Jarlstad Olesen.

2018.10.22 | Olivia Elsebeth Belling-Nami

Morten Jarlstad Olesen.

During his PhD studies, MSc Morten Jarlstad Olesen investigated ’Enzyme Prodrug Therapy’ for intervention of cancer. This technology employs bioreactors (enzymes) at the target site (e.g. tumor) for activation of inactivated medicines (prodrugs), which allow external control of local treatment, on-demand, via choice of prodrug type, dose and time of administration.

His research demonstrates how enzymes immobilized in implantable biomaterials provide such therapeutic control and are capable of inducing a desired therapeutic response, such as growth inhibition of cancer cells. Moreover, his studies show that administration of long-acting prodrugs in combination with specific enzymes expressed by the cancerous tissue enables inhibition of tumor growth in mice while avoiding lethal side-effects of the native drug.

His research suggests that Enzyme Prodrug Therapy may provide a more effective, flexible and safer alternative to current cancer treatments and may enable treatment of otherwise lethal metastatic cancer.

The PhD degree was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Monday, 22 October 2018 at 13.15

Place: Building 1532, room 116, Lecture Theatre G1, Department of Mathematics, Ny Munkegade 118, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C.

Title of PhD thesis: Anti-cancer enzyme prodrug therapy using biocatalytic implants and long-acting prodrugs for local intervention

Contact information: Morten Jarlstad Olesen, e-mail: morten.jarlstad@inano.au.dk

Members of the assessment committee:

Professor Bjørn Torger Stokke, Department of Physics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Professor Ángel Raya Chamorro, Center of Regenerative Medicine, Barcelona, Spain

Professor Duncan Sutherland (chair), iNANO, Aarhus University

Main supervisor:

Associate Professor Alexander N. Zelikin, iNANO and Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University


Associate Professor Frederik Dagnæs-Hansen, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University

Language: The PhD thesis will be defended in English


The defence is public.

The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520 and 1521, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Olivia Elsebeth Belling-Nami

Revised 19.10.2018