Nanomedicine for treating breast cancer: development of multi-therapeutic agents
Breast cancer is a disease with a substantial impact on society. It is the most common form of cancer among women and has significant mortality rates. Early diagnosis and treatment is key in providing positive patient outcomes, particularly for triple-negative breast cancer which is a difficult to treat and aggressive form of the disease. This project focuses on developing targeted hyper-branched polymers capable of both carcinoma imaging and therapeutic delivery. These polymeric nanoparticles can be targeted to triple-negative breast cancer using a novel oligonucleotide aptamer which recognises tumour-specific markers. These polymers will also incorporate moieties for both optical and PET molecular imaging, allowing in vivo monitoring of biodistribution, disease progression and therapeutic response. As well as imaging moieties, these polymeric constructs will also act as carriers for siRNA and microRNA gene therapies. The incorporation of these therapeutics within a targeted construct will increase therapeutic efficacy and reduce the amount of “off-target” effects. It is hoped that the combination of imaging and therapeutic delivery within a single construct will produce a potent nanomedicine tool for both diagnosis and therapeutic delivery.