Using nanoparticles to better target cancer tumours

Dr Andrew Care from the Department of Molecular Sciences has been awarded a 2018 Early Career Fellowship from the Cancer Institute NSW.

Andrew’s fellowship will fund research looking at how biological nanoparticles can be used to better deliver anti-cancer drugs to destroy tumours.

Andrew and his team are re-engineering protein-based nanoparticles that are normally found in microorganisms, like bacteria. These re-engineered nanoparticles will be capable of carrying anti-cancer drugs to tumours inside the body.

Once there, the nanoparticles can be activated by light to break apart, allowing the drugs to be released at their desired location, where they are needed most.

This approach is unlike many conventional cancer therapies, where drugs become distributed throughout the whole body making them less effective at the tumour site, and causing adverse side effects in healthy cells and tissues.

In another win for the team, PhD Candidate Dennis Diaz was recently awarded a Research Scholarship Award from translational cancer research centre, Sydney Vital. She is working under the supervision of Andrew and Associate Professor Anwar Sunna.

Banner image credit: Macquarie University