Keynote Speakers: Omid Farokhzad (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School) and Ralph Weissleder (Massachusetts General Hospital)Presented by the New York Academy of Sciences, the Mushett Family Foundation, and the Nanotechnology Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Reported by Don Monroe | Posted September 4, 2013
On June 11–13, 2013, researchers converged at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for a conference on Nanotechnologies in Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention, presented by the New York Academy of Sciences, the Mushett Family Foundation, and the Nanotechnology Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Most of the presentations and posters focused on the promise of nanoparticles that home in on primary or metastatic tumors, either to highlight the tumors in images or to deliver drugs. A wide variety of nanoparticle systems are being explored, including gold and magnetic nanoparticles, biodegradable polymers, liposomes, and micelles.
The conference included much discussion of mechanisms for targeting particles to specific tissues. In some cases nanoparticles selectively enter cancer tissue because of its unusual leaky blood vessels. But this passive targeting may not be effective for all human tumors, and many researchers go further by attaching ligands to nanoparticles that bind to receptors that are overexpressed in tumor cells, which can also induce the cells to internalize the nanoparticle. However, this active targeting may not work as planned in real bodily fluids that cover the particles in a corona of proteins.
There is much to be learned about how nanoparticles behave in the body, including the risk (or, for vaccines, the promise) of stimulating immune responses. Nonetheless, many of the nanoparticle systems discussed are being evaluated in clinical trials for either diagnostics or therapy. The ability to separately optimize the delivery vehicle from the payload, or to deliver multiple payloads to the same place, shows great promise for new strategies for treating cancer.
Use the tabs above to find a meeting report and multimedia from this event.
Presentations available from:
Gregory I. Berk, MD (BIND Therapeutics)
Michelle S. Bradbury, MD, PhD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)
Charles Patrick Case, PhD (University of Bristol, UK)
Kenneth Dawson, MSc, PhD (University of Dublin, Ireland)
Marina A. Dobrovolskaia, PhD (Nanotechnology Characterization Lab SAIC–Frederick Inc.)
James R. Heath, PhD (California Institute of Technology)
Alexander V. Kabanov, PhD, DrSc (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Sylvain Martel, PhD (Polytechnique Montreal, Canada)
Michael R. McDevitt, PhD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)
Moein Moghimi, PhD (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Jay Nadeau, PhD (McGill University, Canada)
Shuming Nie, PhD (Emory University)
Aliasger Salem, PhD (The University of Iowa)
Yi Yan Yang, PhD (Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Singapore)