Affinity-targeted nanomedicines for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer and endometriosis

CIC nanoGUNE Seminars

Lorena Simon-Gracia, University of Tartu, Estonia
nanoGUNE seminar room, Tolosa Hiribidea 76, Donostia - San Sebastian
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Affinity-targeted nanomedicines for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer and endometriosis **Affinity-targeted nanomedicines for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer and endometriosis** Lorena Simon-Gracia PhD, Associate Professor. Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, University of Tartu, Estonia. Nanoparticle-based theranostics can address some of the issues derived from the administration of free drugs or imaging agents, like poor solubility, instability in the biological environment, low bioavailability, and poor penetration across biological barriers. In the case of cancer and other pathologies such as endometriosis, nanoparticles can passively accumulate in the desired tissue by the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, which is characterized by leaky blood vessels. However, the EPR effect can vary extensively between patients and in preclinical and clinical studies, only a small percentage of nanoparticles have shown to accumulate in tumors by passive targeting. The homing of nanoparticles can be increased by using targeting peptides that recognize receptors overexpressed in the tissue of interest. Peptide-phage display (PPD) is a powerful technique to identify and validate peptides that recognize differentially expressed markers in healthy tissues and at sites of disease. Using PPD, tumor-penetrating peptides (TPPs) and peptides that target endometriotic lesions have been identified and used to guide nanoparticles to the tissue of interest. pH-sensitive polymeric nanovesicles (polymersomes) and inorganic nanoparticles functionalized with targeting peptides and loaded with novel anticancer drugs have demonstrated superior accumulation in tumors and endometriotic lesions and better anticancer effect than non-targeted nanosystems. Affinity-guided nanomedicines combining targeting peptides and stimuli-responsive drug delivery systems can be used to develop more personalized therapies and diagnostic tools. **Host:** J. M. Pitarke