Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program Round 7 - 2014

Dimitre Hristov, Radiation Oncology
Yan Xia, Chemistry
Brian Hargreaves, Radiology

The effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents or radio-sensitizers administered concurrently with radiation therapy is limited by their systemic toxicity. Hence a targeted oncologic image-guided drug delivery system is highly desired for concentrated and controlled release in tumors in order to minimize drug-induced adverse effects without compromising tumor control.

Recently, significant efforts have focused on integrating MRI with external beam radiotherapy delivery systems in order to provide real-time soft-tissue guidance for highly conformal high-dose regimens. In order to leverage this technological development to advance targeted cancer therapy we propose that ionizing radiation can be used in combination with multifunctional nanoparticles, which release their core content in response to focused radiation, thereby targeting the delivery of the capsule contents to the tumor and providing confirmation of delivered radiation dose through MRI.

Our overall goal is to develop and characterize in-vitro and in-vivo a radiation responsive tumor-targeted nanoparticle (NP) platform that will simultaneously identify malignant lesions, confirm the accuracy of radiation therapy, and serve as a triggered drug delivery carrier. Such system has the potential to translate to patients MR-guided targeted chemoradiotherapy and can potentially open novel indications and applications for hybrid MRI-radiation delivery technology.