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Image-guided drug delivery treatments for cancer

maya-thanou-storyv2Research at King's, led by Dr Maya Thanou, seeks to find how nanoparticles can be used to provide image-guided drug delivery treatments for cancer. 

The method uses novel imaging probes to view theranostic liposomes carrying anti-cancer drugs. It allows for the drug to be released only to the area of the tumour, maximising the dose where it is needed. Using imaging (either MRI or optical), kinetics and release of the particles can then be tracked. As liposomes label the tumours for a number of days, they can be monitored to gauge the effect on the tumour’s size.

Using the clinical technique of MRIguided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS, a clinically used technique) means tumours at any depth in the body can be treated.

'As we are able to image with the sort of MRI that is clinically available, as soon as the nanoparticles are fully developed, they will be ready to be clinically trialed.' says Dr Thanou. 'Image guided drug delivery is a very elegant way to treat cancer.’

Dr Thanou’s team is also looking at practical considerations such as how long a treatment would be.

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