Colorectal cancer therapy
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. While the primary tumour can be surgically removed or ablated by radiotherapy, neither procedure is able to eliminate secondary metastatic growths at distant sites. Therapy with cytotoxic drugs (chemotherapy) can hunt down these metastases but there are most unpleasant side-effects due to the drugs attacking non-tumour sites.
We aim to deliver cytotoxic drugs to the tumours selectively by attaching the drugs to minute gold particles, or 'nanoparticles' (5 million = 1 cm). The nanoparticles will targeted specifically at the surface of the cancer cell and the drug released intracellularly, exactly in the location for it to be effective (see cancer targeting illustration above).
This will have the double advantage of being highly successful at killing the cancer cells while causing minimal side-effects, as the non-tumour sites are left alone.
Professor I M Roitt – Lead
Dr T Lund – Cellular targeting of gold nanoparticles
Midatech Ltd – Tuning gold nanoparticles