Cancer Therapies

     Cancers cause over half a million deaths each year in the U.S. and three times that number of people are diagnosed with cancers every year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Pharmaceuticals designed to kill cancer cells are highly toxic to normal cells, leading to severe side effects of chemotherapy.  Therefore, precise drug delivery directly to targeted cells, at the appropriate time in the cell cycle, is highly desirable. A majority of anti-tumor drugs are hydrophobic and require a dispersing agent or other solubilization process to facilitate their delivery.  The Kohn Lab is developing cancer therapies using biodegradable polymer nanospheres for drug delivery. Nanotechnology can have a profound effect on the delivery of pharmaceuticals with poor bioavailability by improving their stability, circulation times in the body and permeability through cell membranes.

     The principal aim of our research is to develop biomaterials that can parenterally deliver multiple therapeutic agents at high local concentrations with physiologically appropriate timing directly to cancer cells, thereby interrupting the growth and metastasis of tumors.

Nanospheres for Anti-Cancer Drug Delivery