Cancer

Cancer is among the most deadly of diseases.  In cancer, cells become immortal and grow in an unrestricted manner.  This results in tumors and when the cancer cells spread throughout the body, by a process called metastasis, the disease is typically lethal.  The most effective therapeutic approaches include the elimination of cancer cells by various means.  While many cancers become resistant to normal cell death pathways, new technologies are being developed that provide more effective means of targeting and eliminating cancer cells and tumors.  Nanomedicine is one such new technology that CNM scientists are using to increase the effectiveness of cancer drugs  to enhance the elimination of tumor cells.  CNM scientists have devised multiple nanoparticle approaches that enable cancer drugs, for example, to home to different regions of the body including selectively to tumors and subsequently to enter into tumors with increased infiltrating capabilities, and thereby exposing more of the tumor to drugs that can eliminate cancer cells.  The ability to target drugs and imaging agents to diseases such as cancer is one of the next major steps required to ultimately focus new drugs and treatments to diseased tissues while sparing normal healthy tissues and thereby reducing side effects.