Day Lab


Drug Delivery 

Cancer Therapy

TIPS and CRUK logo

Prostate cancer is a leading cause of mortality in men. About 9,000 men undergo radical prostatectomy every year in the UK with 10-20% requiring adjuvant or salvage (radiation) therapy or systemic chemotherapy. Failure can occur because cancer cells are shed during surgery, incomplete excision or metastatic disease. Adjuvant or salvage therapy confers additional harm through collateral damage to the bladder, urethra and rectum whilst systemic therapy confers toxicity related to chemotherapy effects.

We propose a novel approach that combines surgery with precise delivery of anti-cancer cytotoxic therapy immediately after prostate removal. This will be achieved through a unique combination of degradable microparticles loaded with a chemotherapy drug. The microparticles will elute drug in a controlled manner to target cancer cells potentially shed during surgery, whilst avoiding collateral tissue damage associated with systemic delivery.

This Cancer Research UK-funded project will investigate combining docetaxel, a clinically approved anti-neoplastic drug, with a new class III implantable scaffold consisting of TIPS microparticles validated for clinical use. This approach is novel and potentially transformative.

People involved:

Professor Richard Day

Professor Hashim Ahmed, Imperial College London

Developing Nanogel Drug Delivery Systems


Intrapericardial drug delivery is an uncommon route where drugs are administered directly into the pericardium, a bilayered sac surrounding the heart that possess several physiological functions. The space enclosed by the pericardium (known as the intrapericardial space) contains about 20-40 mL of fluid. Owing to its proximity to the myocardium and slow clearance, this space could be employed for the delivery of cardioprotective agents to treat myocardial infarction. The project will combine advances in polymer engineering and nanotechnology to engineer a formulation system that can deliver cardioprotective drugs to the infarcted myocardium via the intrapericardial space. 

This EPSRC-funded project will utilize established processing technology to produce polymer based nanocarriers that contain cardioprotective agents for intrapericardial administration. Release of the cargo will be dictated by degradation of the polymer and/or diffusion, which can be moderately refined depending on the molecular mass of the polymer, particle size, shape and porosity. 

In addition of ischaemic heart disease, it is anticipated that the new technology will be applicable to other diseases where controlled release of drugs will be beneficial. 

People involved:

Mr Kenneth Ho 

Professor Richard Day 

Professor Duncan Craig, UCL School of Pharmacy