Currently cancer is one of the biggest public health concerns due to the poor survival rate and the limited efficiency of modern cancer therapies. Conventional treatments, including chemotherapy, use high doses of toxic drugs, which often induce severe adverse effects on healthy organs. Therefore, an ideal anticancer therapy would provide the targeted administration of high drug concentration directly to the tumor for the maximum treatment while limiting degradation of the drug in the systemic circulation resulting in less adverse side effects. In addition, the efficacy of cancer treatment is also limited by the rapid development of tumor resistance. The mechanisms of this resistance are common to most cancers and include “pump” and “nonpump” resistance. Consequently, only simultaneous suppression of both types of cell resistance is capable of substantially increasing the efficacy of anticancer drugs. Finally, in order to optimize the drug delivery and enhance the efficiency of the treatment, it is highly desirable to employ clinically relevant imaging approaches for in situ monitoring of the disease progression and therapeutic responses. Therefore, my research is currently focusing on the development of multifunctional drug delivery systems for combinatorial delivery of siRNA as cancer resistance suppressors, anticancer drugs and real time imaging agents. One promising approach for overcoming the drug delivery obstacle is employing nanomaterials for carrying therapeutic agents specifically to the cancer cells. Nanoparticle interiors could be used as reservoirs for anticancer drugs and imaging agents while their large surface areas could be modified with genes and cell targeting moieties.
Taratula, O.; Garbuzenko, O. B.; Chen, A. M.; Minko, T. Innovative strategy for treatment of lung cancer: targeted nanotechnology-based inhalation co-delivery of anticancer drugs and siRNA. J. Drug Targeting 2011. Epub ahead of print.
Taratula, O.; Savla, R.; Wang, Y. A.; He, H.; Minko, T. Multifunctional nanomedicine platform for cancer specific delivery of siRNA by supermagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles/dendrimer complexes. Curr. Drug Delivery 2011, 8, 59-69.
Savla, R.; Taratula, O.; Garbuzenko, O. B.; Minko, T. Targeted, pH-sensitive quantum dot delivery of doxorubicin for treatment of ovarian cancer. J. Control. Release 2011, 153, 16-22.
Taratula, O.; Garbuzenko, O. B.; Kirkpatrick, P.; Savla, R.; Pandya, I.; Pozharov, V. P.; He, H. and Minko, T. “Surface-Engineered Targeted PPI Dendrimer for Efficient Intracellular and Intratumoral siRNA delivery”. J. Contr. Release 2009, 140, 284-293.
Taratula, O.; Savla, H. He, H.; Minko, T. Poly(propyleneimine) dendrimers as potential siRNA delivery nanocarrier: from structure to function, Int. J. Nanotechnology 2011, 8, 36 – 52.