“Center for Preclinical Evaluation and Optimization of Cancer Nanomedicines”
In the proposed project, we will establish the Center for Preclinical Evaluation and Optimization of Cancer Nanomedicines with the aim to test the efficacy of nanoparticle formulations at the preclinical stage. Furthermore we plan to develop expertise to functionalize the nanoparticles with anti-fibrotic agents that we have recently shown to make the tumor less stiff, improving tumor perfusion and thus, the delivery of nanoparticles. Two pieces of equipment will be obtained: an advanced ultrasound imaging system for quantification of tissue elasticity and perfusion and a whole-body animal imaging system for non-invasive in vivo measurements of nanoparticle distribution. The Center aims to a) propose new solutions to optimize personalized treatment efficacy of nanoparticles, b) identify ways for transferring the products of this research to the clinical setting, c) extent collaborations with national and international research institutes and d) explore further funding opportunities for active continuation beyond the duration of the proposed project. Finally, the Center will aim to provide services to nanomedicine companies for the evaluation and optimization of their products. Other specific objectives of the proposed project include the development of two specialized multifunctional nanoparticle drug delivery systems equipped with both anti-fibrotic and cytotoxic agents. Additionally, the project aims to the development of a perfusion biomarker which will relate tumor perfusion to the degree of intratumoral drug delivery. The perfusion biomarker will be integrated into a software product compatible with ultrasound imaging systems. The eventual goal of this product will be the establishment of a clinically relevant biomarker to predict tumor response to treatment and thus, differentiate tumors to responders or non-responders. The software will also provide guidelines for optimal systemic administration of nanoparticles to the tumor based on the perfusion biomarker.
Consortium: University of Cyprus (HO), Cyprus University of Technology (PA1), E.U.C. Research Centre Ltd (PA2), Theramir Ltd (PA3), Massachussets General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (FRO1) and University of Washington (FRO2)
Total budget: €995,812
Funding Agency: The Project is co–funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research & Innovation Foundation.