Pharma Focus Asia

NYUAD Researchers Developed Novel Tumour-targeting Nanospheres to Improve Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) have achieved a significant breakthrough in light-based cancer therapies. They have developed biocompatible and biodegradable nanospheres designed to target tumours. These nanospheres not only detect and monitor tumours but also deliver powerful light-triggered cancer therapy, greatly enhancing the effectiveness of current light-based treatments.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photothermal therapy (PTT) represent promising non-invasive, light-based treatments that could serve as safe and effective alternatives to traditional cancer therapies. However, the development of effective light-based technologies for cancer treatment has faced numerous challenges.

These challenges include poor solubility, low stability, and a lack of tumour specificity. Additionally, nanocarriers designed to improve the delivery of PDT and PTT have encountered significant limitations.

The effectiveness of photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photothermal therapy (PTT) relies on the presence of a sufficient amount of photosensitiser molecules or photothermal agents within the tumour tissue. This is because reactive oxygen species (ROS) in PDT and localised hyperthermia in PTT have a limited radius of action and a short lifetime. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that an adequate concentration of these agents is delivered to the tumour site for these therapies to be effective.

The nanocarriers developed by the NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) team represent a critical advancement in this regard. They have the ability to significantly enhance the efficiency of delivering photosensitisers and photothermal agents to the tumour.

The development of multifunctional core-shell nanospheres represents a promising breakthrough in addressing the limitations of current cancer treatments. These nanospheres have the potential to overcome the challenges that have hindered the effectiveness of crucial light-based therapies. They serve as a promising tumour-targeting platform that not only enables multimodal diagnostic imaging but also facilitates powerful combinatorial cancer therapy.

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