Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Dr. Elvin Blanco Awarded U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and Susan G. Kome

Dr. Elvin Blanco Awarded U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Postdoctoral Fellowships 

HOUSTON (Feb. 1, 2011) -The Methodist Hospital Research Institute congratulates Dr. Elvin Blanco of the Department of Nanomedicine for his fellowship awards from the U.S. DOD-BCRP and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

Dr. Blanco, under the mentorship of Dr. Mauro Ferrari, has received a total of $628,000 for three years to develop a nanotechnology-based ‘Russian nested doll' system for the targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs for breast cancer treatment. In close collaboration with co-mentor Dr. Funda Meric-Bernstam in the Department of Surgical Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Dr. Takafumi Sangai, a visiting scientist in Dr. Meric-Bernstam's laboratory, Dr. Blanco designed a system to reduce the toxic side effects and enhance the anti-cancer properties of chemotherapy drug combinations.

"At the crux of the research sponsored by these two organizations is the desire to enhance drug delivery using a strategy that combines, within the same nanoparticle, different drugs that when administered together, synergize and result in a greater antitumor effect," says Dr. Blanco.

By encapsulating the drugs in a polymer nanoparticle, they can be concentrated at cancer sites. The ‘nested' design then releases the two drugs sequentially, and in a controlled manner over time, that makes them more efficient at killing cancer cells.

"These novel delivery approaches may have utility for many additional therapeutics in the future," says Dr. Meric-Bernstam.

Dr. Ferrari adds, "Dr. Elvin Blanco is a gem of a researcher, who combines brilliance, competence, great communication skills and a compassionate personality, at the service of those who suffer. Though a young man, he embodies the best values of medical research. It is a great privilege to have him at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute. He is certainly among the very best medical scientists of his generation, and I have complete confidence that he will contribute greatly to finding new, powerful tools to use in the fight against breast cancer."

For more information on Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, visit http://ww5.komen.org/. For more information on the U.S. DOD-BCRP program, visit http://cdmrp.army.mil/bcrp/.

For more information on The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, see www.tmhri.com. For more information on The Methodist Hospital, see www.methodisthealth.com. Follow Methodist on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MethodistHosp and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/houstonmethodist.