Cancer remains a leading disease burden on global society. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are two of the most common approaches to treating cancers.
Radiotherapy contributes to about 40% of cures, but advances in radiotherapy have been limited due to engineering constraints.
Chemotherapy is used extensively in treating metastatic cancer where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. However, for many cancers it only prolongs survival by months. Moreover, due to its highly toxic nature, many patients struggle to complete the therapeutic regime.
In both cases, a higher dose of the therapeutic agent is needed to treat resistant cancer cells, which further aggravates the side-effects associated with these treatments leading to poor adherence and outcomes. There is a clear need for a new approach to improving cancer therapy.
This approach exploits and manipulates the tumour’s microenvironment and its response to current treatments.
The team is developing nanoparticle formulations that can manipulate a cancer cell’s propensity to be affected by conventional treatments such as radio or chemotherapy.
The underlying mechanism preferentially impacts cancer cells that are difficult to treat and act as negative prognostic factors. These formulations can halve the amount of radiation required to treat radioresistant cells. This technology has the potential to have profound impact on treatment efficacy and minimisation of side-effects; improving mortality rates and quality of life for patients.
This technology could be applied in biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceutical industries with applications in cancer therapy.
The team is seeking co-development and collaboration opportunities to further advance this opportunity.