Faced with the opportunity to read around 900+ posters yesterday afternoon in the first of the six main poster sessions from Sunday to Wednesday here at the AACR annual meeting, any selection of a “poster of the day” is extremely subjective. All the posters here have considerable scientific merit having passed a rigorous peer-review selection process.
Faced with a smorgasboard of choice, one ends up focusing on areas of personal interest. One area I have recently started to write about on this blog is the impact nanotechnology may have on cancer research and in particular how nanoparticles in the form of diamonds can be used to reach into tumors.
So “my poster of the day” from Sunday April 3rd, Day 2 of AACR is ”Multistate Nanoparticle Delivery System for Deep Penetration into Tumor Tissue.” It is Abstract#548 on the AACR website, and is from a team of researchers at the Department of Chemistry at MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
The published poster by Cliff Wong and colleagues is “a proof-of-principle demonstration that a size changing nanoparticle can facilitate delivery into the dense collagen matrix of a tumor.”
The authors conclude, that what they have developed is: “the potential for customized delivery of nanoparticles by using genomic and molecular data to achieve optimal delivery for a particular patient.”
Heralding the future potential of their research, the poster states that as result of this work they now can “design a series of customized nanoparticles that are activated by a variety of tumor-associated proteases such as cathepsin B and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA).
One question that this research raises to me is to what extent different tumors may require a different sized nanoparticles to deliver drug to the target area? If we do need different sized nanoparticles, then how do we determine which is the best size/combination?
I’m excited at the possibility that not only may we have personalized medicine, but that nanotechnology may enable customized drug delivery.
The heart of the AACR annual meeting to me is the posters, and they frequently stimulate questions that may generate novel new approaches or trigger new research avenues or opportunities to make a difference in the lives of future cancer patients.