High-Capacity Nanocarriers for Cancer Chemotherapeutics
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Alexander Kabanov, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Chemotherapy remains the primary treatment option for cancer after surgery. However, many anti-cancer drugs' lack of water solubility decreases their therapeutic potency. This technology employs a series of special block copolymers based on poly(2-oxazolines) (POx) used to produce polymer micelles to incorporate insoluble drugs, such as paclitaxel and docetaxel. The micelles will be targeted using monoclonal antibodies to Her2-receptors. Currently, Dr. Kabanov optimizes the structures of the polymers with respect to drug loading and formulation stability. The research team screens modifications of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic moieties as well as different polymer microstructures. The team also determines the pharmacokinetics and maximum tolerated dose of the nanoformulations as well as the anticancer activity in vivo. This drug formulation is designed for the treatment of Her2 overexpressing breast cancer. The combination of high drug loading of the micelles with antibody-targeting could be a promising alternative to improve Herceptin® therapy and might also help to address the barrier of Herceptin® resistance in some breast cancer patients.
This project is being undertaken in collaboration with a research team from Dresden Technical University headed by Dr. Rainer Jordan.
The goal of this project is to develop polymeric micelle carriers as effective drug delivery systems to overcome the limitations of low water solubility, and improve safety and bioavailability of anticancer drugs.