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NeoNaNo Report Summary

Project ID: 309495
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Germany

Mid-Term Report Summary - NEONANO (Neoadjuvant Nanomedicines for vascular Normalization)

The aim of this ERC Starting Grant (ERC-StG-309495; Neoadjuvant Nanomedicines for vascular Normalization; NeoNaNo) is to evaluate the potential of pre-treating tumors with anti-inflammatory nanomedicines. This is done to prime the tumor vasculature for more efficient drug and oxygen delivery, and to thereby improve the efficacy of subsequently administered chemo- and radiotherapy. It is widely accepted that the vascular network in tumors is chaotic and highly heterogeneous, and suboptimal for efficient drug delivery and chemo/radiotherapy. To properly assess the impact of neoadjvant nanomedicine treatment on tumor blood vessels, we have - in the first part of the project - set out to complete two milestones: (1) to establish methods for analyzing vascular networks in tumors; and (2) to develop methods for more accurately visualizing and quantifying drug delivery to tumors. In this regard, in the first 30 month of the project, in vivo and ex vivo contrast-enhanced micro-computed tomography (CT) has been optimized for quantitative 3D analyses on the vascular network in tumors, and hybrid computed tomography - fluorescence molecular tomography (CT-FMT) has been established for more accurately assessing the biodistribution and the target site accumulation of nanomedicine formulations. In the remaining part of the project, using these established techniques, the impact of vascular normalization on tumor blood vessels, on drug delivery to tumors and on the therapeutic efficacy of tumor-targeted combination therapies will be investigated.

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