Team uncovers cutting-edge way to treat cancer

Dr Warren Chan
Dr Warren Chan

Nanoparticles are so tiny that they can’t be seen with an ordinary microscope. But these little particles are proving to be a cutting-edge tool in treating cancer.

With your funding support, it became possible for Dr Warren Chan and his team to engineer nanoparticles to search for tumours in the body and give better treatment options to people with cancer.

A great thing about nanoparticles is that they can be loaded with cancer-fighting drugs and injected into a person to treat a tumour. But, until recently, it was difficult to get enough of the nanoparticles to the tumour to be effective; most got trapped and removed by cells in the liver.

To overcome this, Dr Chan and his team uncovered an exciting new strategy called a “dose threshold.” Put simply, when a person is given a dose of the nanoparticles that exceeds a threshold level, the liver is unable to clear it away — allowing more of the drugs to reach the tumour.

In the lab, this remarkable breakthrough has increased the performance of nanoparticle delivery from under 1% to 12% without increasing toxicity and side effects.

Also, exciting? The researchers are now working to help move this type of technology into the clinic where it can lead to better outcomes for people with cancer — helping them live longer, fuller lives.

None of this incredible work would have been possible without your support.

“The CCS funding is critical to this particular research project,” says Dr Chan. “Thank you for making this happen.”