Stimuli-sensitive nano-carriers based on the human ferritin for cancer therapy

Striking and eradicate cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue, how? The answer comes from nanomedicine. The research team led by Dr. Ceci is developing "smart" nano-carriers capable of carrying large amounts of anticancer drugs, directing them selectively towards neoplastic cells.
The selective delivery to cancer sites is a critical issue in the outcome of currently used cancer therapeutics that distribute non-specifically in the body, thereby damaging healthy as well as cancer cells. Tumor targeting using nanovectors is emerging as a promising approach to overcome the lack of specificity of conventional chemotherapeutic agents.
In this work, Dr. Ceci's group have genetically engineered the human ferritin protein so as to selectively deliver the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin to cancer cells, limiting healthy cell damage. We show that this genetic variant displays excellent therapeutic efficacy in a human pancreatic cancer mouse model, and significantly increases the overall animal survival.
o Selective delivery of doxorubicin by novel stimuli-sensitive nano-ferritins overcomes tumor refractoriness. Fracasso G, Falvo E, Colotti G, Fazi F, Ingegnere T, Amalfitano A, Doglietto GB, Alfieri S, Boffi A, Morea V, Conti G, Tremante E, Giacomini P, Arcovito A, Ceci P. J Control Release. 2016;239:10-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.08.010.