Executive Director at Celsion Corporation
About Raj Prabhakar
With more than a decade of senior-level management experience in
the biotechnology industry, Raj Prabhakar has worked in both the drug
development and medical diagnostics sectors. He holds particular
expertise in oncology development, with geographical experience in the
United States and Asia Pacific countries. Furthermore, he has used his
business acumen to turn around a clinical development startup, oversee
corporate development, and facilitate research and development
agreements within growth companies.
In 2004, Raj Prabhakar joined Celsion Corporation as Director of Program Management, a position through which he led the liver-cancer program. Mr. Prabhakar became Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Development three years later, and assumed his current position as Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development in 2009. In his current role, he leads business development and out-licensing functions while focusing primarily on the firm’s liver-cancer programs, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. In his previous position, the biotechnology executive acted as Director of Corporate Development for the diagnostic company Protiveris Inc. out of Rockville, Maryland, which developed next-generation cancer diagnostic tools. Raj Prabhakar also worked in corporate development and assisted the Chief Executive Officer at Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., a start-up company developing stem-cell regenerative medicines.
Educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with research experience at Harvard Medical School, Mr. Prabhakar also gained business training by earning his Master of Business Administration at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.
Signs and Symptoms of Liver Cancer
For more than a decade Raj Prabhakar has served Celsion Corporation as the Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development. In addition to his licensing and marketing responsibilities with the company, Raj Prabhakar has focused his efforts to advance the field of liver cancer.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma, commonly known as liver cancer, is largely asymptomatic and does not show symptoms until the disease has progressed to later stages, stressing the importance for screening and surveillance especially for patients at high risk. In addition to loss of weight and appetite, nausea and vomiting, a commonly known symptom is Jaundice, or the yellowing of the skin, which could suggest an impairment of the liver function. Cancer could also cause the liver organ, as well as the spleen to enlarge, presenting as a mass on the side of the rib cage. Lastly, liver cancer can affect a number of hormones, result in numerous complications ranging from high blood calcium levels to breast enlargement in men. Any combination of these issues should be brought to the physician’s attention for further testing, especially if the patient is high risk from prior hepatitis or cirrhosis.
Brachytherapy for Liver Cancer
As Vice President of Business Development for Celsion Corporation, Raj Prabhakar leads all partnership efforts to develop and market cancer therapeutic agents. Raj Prabhakar is currently focused on drugs to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, a form of liver cancer.
Because liver tumors can lie adjacent to healthy liver tissue, required for survival, researchers are continually investigating ways to eliminate tumors while minimizing damage to surrounding cells. To do so within the context of radiation therapy can be particularly difficult, but studies into the potential of brachytherapy have uncovered great potential. Brachytherapy temporarily implants thin tubes known as catheters into the tumor. Radioactive pellets then pass through the catheters and into the tumor itself, where they ideally kill off the cancerous cells.
Depending on the cancer itself, the patient may undergo either temporary or permanent brachytherapy. Permanent brachytherapy involves the implantation of very small pellets that give off radiation for multiple weeks or months, then remain in the patient's system as harmless foreign bodies. Temporary brachytherapy keeps delivery tubes, catheters, or balloons in a patient's body only while they transmit the radioactive material. This type of therapy may consist of a high-dose rate, which involves treatment for several minutes over the course of one to multiple weeks; or a low-dose rate, which requires continuous treatment for seven days.