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Delivering chemotherapy directly into breast cancer cells

Professor Sanjay GargUsing cutting edge nanotechnology, a team of researchers at UniSA are working to target a potent cancer therapy directly into breast cancer cells. Improving the delivery of the drug will drastically reduce the damage inflicted on healthy cells and enhance its ability to destroy tumours.

"Breast cancer is one of the most diagnosed cancers in women and while many patients now survive the disease, treatment side effects can cause ongoing health issues," says Professor Sanjay Garg of the Pharmaceutical Innovation and Development research group.

"One of the biggest challenges for the scientific community in regards to anti-cancer drugs, is fine-tuning the delivery of the therapies we know work well to the cancer site to reduce damage to healthy tissue.

"Nanomaterials offer an exciting new opportunity to target medicine; they can be loaded with potent therapies and key molecules that direct their release only when they connect with the lock molecule on cancer cells; they are also extremely small and can pass through holes in the tumour membrane that other molecules cannot enter.

"We are using cutting edge nanotechnology to enhance a potent chemotherapy and target its delivery directly into breast cancer cells to reduce toxic side effects."

Professor Sanjay Garg, an internationally recognised pharmaceutical scientist.

"In one of our projects, run by PhD scholar Candace Day, we are loading an effective chemotherapy for breast cancers into a promising new nanomaterial called mesoporous silica nanoparticle.

"Our approach holds considerable promise as an improved, targeted therapy for the most common breast cancers with drastically reduced toxicity to healthy cells and fewer side effects."