Northeastern University


Biology, '23

Tracking Nanodrug Distribution in Lung Tissue​

Mentor: G. Mike Makrigiorgos, Ph.D.

Institution: Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Lung cancer is both one of the most common types of cancers as well as the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Hence, it is imperative to discover novel and effective treatments that target lung cancer. There are various limiting factors when it comes to treating lung cancer such that traditional cancer therapies lack specificity and often produce cytotoxicity. To overcome these adverse effects, promising results have been observed in a combination therapy in which mAB-CD40 and Hesperidin (HSP) are used to treat lung cancer via aerosol delivery. mAB-CD40 is used for its agonistic effects to overcome immunosuppression in the tumor environment whereas Hesperidin (HSP) is a naturally occuring flavonoid found in citrus fruits that has anti-carcinogenic properties such that in lung cancer, it has been seen to induce apoptosis. However, HSP has a low aqueous solubility, therefore, nanoparticles can act as carries to enhance the drug efficacy (Sohel et al., 2022). Since intratumoral drug delivery is not feasible for treating lung cancer, aerosol administration can act as a means for local delivery. Altogether, this treatment acts to remedy the limitations of current cancer treatments by precisely targeting tumor tissue and minimizing systemic toxicities. In order to ensure successful drug delivery to lung tissue, it is important to track the nanoparticle. Currently, high-Z nanoparticles are used for tracking because they can act as contrast agents for imaging. However, this research will focus on the use of poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle tagged with fluorescein. C57B1 mice will be injected with LLC-1 cells to induce lung carcinoma and then further will be treated with the combination approach previously described. To ensure successful drug delivery to the lung, the nanoparticle distribution will be ascertained ex-vivo via lung tissue slices. Furthermore, to monitor the efficacy of treatment, survival assays and toxicology reports will be utilized.