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Drug delivery in solid tumors: a major challenge in cancer treatment

Release time:June 21, 2017 / Siying He

Topic:Drug delivery in solid tumors: a major challenge in cancer treatment        

Speaker:Professor Fan Yuan, PhD, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, USA

Date:June 22, 10:00-11:45        

Venue:Yifu Building Room 416        

 

Abstract:        

Effective cancer treatments except for surgery involve delivery of therapeutic agents or drugs to tumor cells. Drug delivery in solid tumors is a huge challenge. It is well known that anticancer drugs are effective for cell treatment outside the body and some can cure cancer in animal models, but most drugs fail in clinical trials. The failure can be caused by multiple reasons, a common problem is that drug concentration in tumor cells cannot reach therapeutic level without causing severe toxicity in normal tissues. In my presentation, a “drug” can be small molecules, macromolecules, nanoparticles, microparticles, or even immune cells. I will discuss mechanisms of drug delivery, which are drug-dependent, and how the delivery is hindered by physiological barriers in solid tumors. At the end of the presentation, I will discuss some strategies that have been used to overcome the barriers.          

 

Bio of the Speaker:        

Dr. Yuan's research interests include drug and gene delivery, mechanisms of molecular transport in cells and tissues, and tumor pathophysiology.        

Cure of cancer through chemotherapy requires drug molecules to reach all tumor cells at an adequately high concentration. At present, such a requirement cannot be satisfied in most patients. This is because (a) amount of drugs that can be administered into patients is limited by normal tissue tolerance and (b) drug distribution and cellular response to drugs in tumors are heterogeneous. Therefore, cells in regions with drug concentration below the therapeutic level will cause tumor recurrence and they may also develop resistance to future treatment.        

 

School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering