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."
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