Drug Uptake by Cancer Stem Cells via Conjugation Silica Nanoparticles


Reference #1267:

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a novel two part drug therapy for cancer cells with conjugation silica nanoparticles.



More than 12 million new cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide each year, with an estimated 8 million deaths occurring in the same year. A major contributing factor to mortality in cancer patients is relapse (after surgery or therapy) and developing resistance to therapy. A small population of highly malignant cancer stem cells (CSCs) have the ability to initiate, propagate, and maintain the cancer tissue. This causes the recurrence, or relapse, of cancer. Conventional therapies use drug encapsulated NPs to target drugs to the tumor vasculture or drug-antibody conjugates to target the drugs to cancer cells, and not healthy cells. However, these therapies are not effective against CSCs because 100 nm nanoparticles (NPs) accumulate in the tumor vasculture while being too large to diffuse through the tumor ECM to reach CSCs.


Invention Description:

This invention presents a new paradigm in cancer therapy with a two-part drug delivery system: The first part is the free drug, drug-antibody conjugate, or drug encapsulated in degradable NPs for drug delivery to the differentiated subpopulation of cancer cells. The second part is the drug conjugated polyhedral oligomeric silsequioxane (POSS) for delivery and uptake by the stem cell subpopulation within the tumor tissue.


Potential Applications:

This two part delivery system could be used by the pharmaceutical industry to treat those cancers with a high fraction of cancer stem cells.


Advantages and Benefits:

This two part drug therapy can be used with any cancer drug and with all cancer types including breast, lung, colon, gastric, liver, thyroid, bladder, oral, ovarian, and nasal. This invention’s delivery is intracellular as opposed to delivery outside of the cell in conventional NP therapies.


Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Drug Delivery System and Method for Targeting Cancer Stem Cells Utility United States 16/057,954   8/8/2018     Notice of Allowance
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Esmaiel Jabbari
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