Using Nanotechnology to Treat Pediatric Cancers
Childhood cancer patients often suffer severe side effects with chemotherapy treatment.
Strategies that would improve the delivery of anti-cancer agents specifically
to tumor cells would not only increase the effectiveness of a chemotherapy, but
also would reduce its systemic toxicity. A molecular vehicle is needed that could
target tumor cells - nanoparticles provide such a potential vehicle. Nanoparticles
can loosely be defined as synthetic structures with dimensions ranging from 1-100
nanometers (a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, about the size of a water
molecule), whose unique properties, at least in part, depend on their physical
size and component chemistry. Many contain a hollow core into which a wide range
of cargo can be packaged.
Dr. Federman will develop and test targeted nanoparticles to treat pediatric
sarcomas (aggressive and often lethal bone and soft tissue cancers), in which
the survival rate for patients is less than 20% despite incredibly aggressive
chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation treatments. This completely novel and high-risk
project would be a breakthrough in our current treatment of pediatric cancers,
leading to the development of powerful new therapeutic strategies in aggressive
childhood malignancies. If successful, we hope to rapidly translate this technology
from the laboratory bench to the patient's bedside.
TTCF 2009 Award Recipient | Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA
Run time: 3.05 mins