Pre-clinical treatment of skin cancer by magnetic-protein nanocomposite drug delivery system
Skin cancer affects many people worldwide and is life threatening without treatment. People with light skin, genetic diseases, and high exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) are at a high risk of developing skin cancer. Once developed, skin cancer can spread to the rest of the body, including organs inside the body. If the cancer is established, it is difficult to control and treat. Skin cancer is diagnosed by the depth at which it has spread below the skin. Conventional treatments such as creams and lotions treat only the outer skin surface, while cancer below the skin is allowed to thrive. Treating only the outer layer and not the inner layer of skin can make it difficult to diagnose cancer because the severity of it can be hidden. The ideal treatment is to treat cancer from the inside out. Administering common cancer medicines means killing healthy cells as well as cancer cells; therefore, developing a drug delivery system (DDS), which can be injected into the body and release medicine at an engineered rate and location, is needed. In this thesis, a special drug delivery system is proposed—one that lessens the toxicity of a therapeutic agent from an intraperitoneal (IP) injection by reducing diffusion of that injection into sensitive areas of the body. This DDS uses both magnetic forces to hold it at the affected location and also a protein, encapsulated into the DDS, to reduce an immune response. The protein can also encourage uptake of the DDS into the cancer cell where the DDS releases the therapeutic agent. It is shown that this DDS is successful in treating cancer, and no toxic effects were found, which makes this treatment a possible alternative to conventional therapies.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering