New funding allows investigators to explore how innovative nanotechnologies may improve the outcome of patients with ovarian or pancreatic cancers, two of the hardest to detect and most difficult to treat.
With a $16 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute’s nanomedicine initiative, four other research institutions join MD Anderson in this blending of expertise:
- The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
- The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
- Rice University
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York
With a growing understanding that nanoparticles hold potential for medical use, these team members have adapted a variety of substances. These include gold, silicon and tiny balls of fat called nanoliposomes and chitosan, derived from crustacean shells.
“Our understanding of the natural and physical barriers that impede development of drugs guides the advancement of our nanomedicine approaches for the prevention and personalized treatment of cancer,” says Gabriel Lopez-Berestein, M.D., professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Experimental Therapeutics, one of the principal investigators and a pioneer in the field.