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UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science

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Dr Nikolitsa Nomikou awarded funding from the EPSRC First Grant scheme to develop a multistimulus-responsive formulation for the sonodynamic treatment of prostate cancer

31 January 2017

Sonodynamic therapy employs low-intensity ultrasound in combination with sensitising agents, such as porphyrins, for the site-specific ablation of cancerous lesions. One of the major advantages of sonodynamic therapy is that it does not require the administration of highly toxic agents and, therefore, it is not associated with adverse side effects. This approach has a vast potential to address the issues of multidrug resistance development and tumour heterogeneity that have rendered current treatments for advanced tumours inadequate.

In clinical studies, thus far, the sensitising agents have been administered as free agents, resulting in poor biodistribution and tumour uptake of these agents. An £125K grant funded by EPSRC will support Dr Nomikou to develop a nanoparticulate formulation with dual response to the prostate tumour microenvironment and low-intensity ultrasound. This work aims to optimize sonodynamic therapy and further elucidate its translational potential for the treatment of prostate cancer.