Nanomedicine – tiny tools to beat the giant cancer challenge

September 5, 2020 12:00 - 1:30

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Cancer is with no doubt a major health threat: with an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018, it is the second leading cause of death globally. Beating cancer has become a priority to the World Health Organisation, and it can only be achieved with smart medicines.
The diseases referred to as “cancer” are quite diverse, from both the molecular mechanism and impact on health point of views. While some types of cancer have been treated successfully with new generations of therapeutics, others, such as pancreas tumours and brain cancer, remain largely incurable and require innovative drugs that target unexplored biochemical processes in tumour cells.
In this session, leaders of three EU-funded projects - VAHVISTUS, INPACT and MAGNAMED– will present novel anticancer medicines based on nanotechnologies that bring hope to many patients.
The VAHVISTUS project is devoted to the development of smart drug-vector nanostructures that enter target cancer cells through receptor-mediated endocytosis and deliver drugs to distinct compartments of the cellular secretory pathway. The INPACT project is developing a related approach but using innovative peptides to traverse brain arteries and deliver drugs to tumours in the brain. On the other hand, the MAGNAMED project explores the design of novel magnetic nanostructures with unique properties for early stage diagnostics and improvement of therapy.
All three projects are funded under the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) scheme. They are addressing the important cancer challenge in a holistic way, bridging Europe to other continents and enhancing partnerships between academia and industry. The session will highlight their scientific achievements indicating how these new “nanotools” can offer “mega-therapies” for combating cancer.

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