The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas is joining with researchers from Penn State to focus on a new form of nanotechnology-based means of diagnosing and treating prostate cancer. The new study, which is being funded by the National Institutes of Health, will take place over the next five years, thanks to the NIH’s $1.58 million dollar grant.
The principal investigators for the study will be Texas based, with both Dr. Jian Yang, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Dr. Jer-Tsong Hsieh, the Dr. John McConnell Distinguished Chair in Prostate Cancer Research at Texas, serving as co-principal investigators. For their part in the study, Penn State researchers will receive about $651,000 of the grant money.
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The new research will focus on the use of nanotechnology as an alternative to traditional prostate cancer therapies, which have proven to cause significant side effects in prostate cancer patients, often with poor or ineffective outcomes. Nanotechnology offers promising treatment options that would greatly reduce life-threatening side effects while offering improved outcomes for the disease, compared to conventional chemotherapy.
Specifically, the research team is planning on creating a method to identify a prostate cancer specific drug, known as a genotoxin, in order to avoid drug resistance. On the diagnosis side, researchers will seek to create a biodegradable and biocompatible nano particle, which would be able to target and identify prostate cancer in the body.
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Dr. Yang commented he hopes the team’s experimental therapy study will lead to a more personalized medical approach to treating prostate cancer.
Texas continues to prove itself as a pioneer in the use of nanotechnology as an alternative treatment option to traditional cancer drugs. BioNews Texas also recently reported on how Houston-Based AkesoGenX Corp. acquired rights to Kanzius Cancer Treatment Technology, and is planning on Commercializing the technology’s noninvasive radio wave cancer treatment, which also involves nanotechnology in fighting cancer as well.