In patients with recurrent platinum-resistant epithelial ovarian cancer, topoisomerase inhibitors (TPIs) are the most active second-line chemoagents; however, treatment response is underwhelming due to both drug resistance and systemic toxicity of TPIs. Topoisomerases are enzymes that cleave DNA strands to mediate relaxation of supercoiled DNA, allowing for the continuation of DNA replication and transcription. TPIs disrupt this process by trapping topoisomerase-DNA cleavage complexes, increasing the rate of topoisomerase-crosslinked DNA strand breaks. Tdp1 is an emerging therapeutic target that repairs the topoisomerase-DNA adduct by cleaving the 3’(5’)-tyrosyl-DNA bond between topoisomerase and DNA in cells, reducing the efficacy of the TPI. This function of Tdp1 makes it a potential therapeutic target that may be incorporated into treatment. Nanotechnology is used in this study to assist in targeting these enzymes by repurposing Tdp-1-inhibiting antibiotics in a mechanistically interactive combination with TPIs to provide a more effective treatment. The underlying hypothesis is that the ability of tetracycline antibiotics to reduce DNA repair inhibition of Tdp1 removes a barrier that mitigates camptothecin action. This combination, unbalancing the rate of DNA cleavage and religation, is anticipated to enhance cancer cell death. Co-encapsulation and co-delivery of the agents at high payloads in nanoliposomes will also aid in reducing systemic toxicity.The goal of the study will be achieved in two aims under the mentorship of Dr. Tayyaba Hasan (PI) and postdoctoral fellows (Drs. Huang and Obaid): Aim 1 (1-4 months) will synthesize and characterize multi-compartmental nanoliposomes to co-delivery tetracycline (antibiotic) and camptothecin (TPI). Aim 2 (4-6 months) will evaluate the combination treatment response in monolayer cultures of OVCAR-5-cisR (cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cell line derived from solid tumor).
CaNCURE provides trainees with a 6-month hands-on research experience and one-on-one mentoring by leading researchers in cancer nanomedicine. Projects performed by current and past participants include:
While on co-op, trainees document their research in an e-portfolio. This gives trainees the opportunity to provide regular updates on their research progress, reflect on training they are receiving, and explain how their research fits within the field of cancer nanomedicine. These research e-portfolios can be accessed through individual trainee profiles. The complete collection may be found here.
Presentation at CaNCURE Nanomedicine Day
At the completion of their co-op, trainees are provided with the opportunity to present their research to a wider audience. In our 1st annual CaNCURE Nanomedicine Day, trainees prepared interactive, digital posters to display on electronic poster boards. Over 100 faculty, students, and researchers attended our first event!
Check out the news article and congrats to all the poster winners!
Jordan Harris: Most Innovative Cancer Research Award
Jeremy Thong: Best Undergraduate Research Poster Award
Craig Pille: Most Promising Translational Research Award
Bryan Kynnap: Most Promising Basic Science Award
Jordan Harris: Top Chemical Engineering Poster Award