Tailoring nanoparticle designs to target cancer based on tumor pathophysiology

Edward A Sykes, Qin Dai, Christopher D Sarsons, Juan Chen, Jonathan V Rocheleau, David M Hwang, Gang Zheng, David T Cramb, Kristina D Rinker, Warren CW Chan

PNAS March 1, 2016 113 (9) E1142-E1151 | DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1521265113


Nanotechnology is a promising approach for improving cancer diagnosis and treatment with reduced side effects. A key question that has emerged is: What is the ideal nanoparticle size, shape, or surface chemistry for targeting tumors? Here, we show that tumor pathophysiology and volume can significantly impact nanoparticle targeting. This finding presents a paradigm shift in nanomedicine away from identifying and using a universal nanoparticle design for cancer detection and treatment. Rather, our results suggest that future clinicians will be capable of tailoring nanoparticle designs according to the patient’s tumor characteristics. This concept of “personalized nanomedicine” was tested for detection of prostate tumors and was successfully demonstrated to improve nanoparticle targeting by over 50%.