Final Report Summary - NASTAR (Nano-Sensitizer Cancer Cell Targeted Radiotherapy)
In the NaSTaR project we have established a method to evaluate if cancer patients will benefit from liposome based drug delivery systems that are in development and used today clinically. We further used this method to evaluate to effect of radiotherapy of getting more drug to the tumor, which it was found to do. The main focus of the project was to investigate how we could make treatment of cancer patients with radiotherapy more effective by combining with drugs that enhances the effect of radiotherapy by using advanced drug delivery systems. In this work we further discovered important ways the immune systems contribute to the therapeutic effects and how there is a close interplay with recruitment of immune cells to the tumor microenvironment that enhances treatment outcome. In particular we found that drug delivery systems could both hit cancer cells but also suppressive immune cells in the tumor that is part of shutting down an immune response to cancer, which allows the tumors to grow. The combination of delivery of drugs to cancer cells and immune cells with also hitting the tumor with radiotherapy was very effective in curing cancer in mice and should be considered in development of future treatment regimes for patients.