Nanomedicine to Treat Bone Metastasis and Improve Regeneration of Lost Bone

Date(s) - 12/05/2016
3:00 pm

Isaac Adjei, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, Sharma Lab, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida


Bone is a common site for metastasis in a number of human cancers including those of the prostate and breast. This is in large part due to the relatively slow blood flow in bone marrow and the presence of adhesion receptors on bone marrow capillary endothelial cells that support cancer cell localization in the bone. The consequences of bone metastasis are often devastating; it affects bone remodeling, causes bone pain, fractures and nerve compression, and is a major cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality. Once bone metastases are established, the chances of survival drop dramatically. In prostate cancer for instance, the 5-year survival rate falls from 98% in patients with localized disease to 20% in patients with bone metastases. Thus treatment of bone metastases and strategies for bone repair will significantly improve patient survival and quality of life. In this seminar, I will discuss the modulation of the physical characteristics of nanoparticles (NPs) to enable the delivery of therapeutic doses of chemotherapy to bone metastasis. This decreases tumor growth and prevents bone loss. I will also talk about theranostic NPs that improve osteogenic differentiation of stem cells to repair bone loss due to metastasis. The developed nanoparticulate delivery system also enables clinically relevant imaging of delivered cells via MRI and photoacoustic tomography to ascertain their in vivo fate.


Short Bio

Dr. Adjei is postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Dr. Blanka Sharma in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. In the Sharma lab, his research has focused on developing drug delivery systems to improve stem cell-based therapies and cancer immunotherapy. He is also involved in the development of in vitro 3D tumor models that recapitulate the in vivo interactions between cancer cells and immune cells. Prior to joining Dr. Sharma’s lab, Dr. Adjei was a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic under the mentorship of Dr. Vinod Labhasetwar. During this time, he researched strategies to improve drug delivery to metastasis to improve patient outcomes. This effort resulted in novel methods for treating lymph node and bone metastases. His training at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic was supported by a National Institutes of Health F31 grant and a HHMI Med into Grad scholarship.