Dr. Biana Godin Vilentchouk earned her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2006. During her Ph.D. studies, Dr. Godin Vilentchouk focused on designing a non-invasive treatment for the hard-to-treat skin deep infections and on nasal delivery of proteins. She was recruited as a Postdoctoral trainee in the field of Cancer Nanotechnology to the research team of Dr. Mauro Ferrari at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. Her postdoctoral research focused on injectable multistage nanovectors (MSVs) for cancer treatment and imaging.


The administration of carriers tailoring therapeutic agents specifically to the disease loci has emerged as a striking, higher therapeutic index treatment modality aimed at personalization of cancer therapy. We developed a multistage nanocarrier system that integrates several rationally designed nanovectors acting in a synergistic fashion. This multistage porous silicon nanovector (MSV) is based on the biodegradable nanoparticles rationally designed to tailor the diseased vasculature through optimized margination towards the walls of the tumor blood vessels. The first stage porous silicon particles target tumorassociated endothelium or macrophages. Once the particles arrested in the close proximity to the tumor, second-stage nanoparticles/ macromolecules carrying the therapeutic agents are released into the tumor microenvironment by timedependent degradation of the silicon carrier. Particles–cell interactions and degradation of MSV can be controlled by means of particle surface modifications. In this talk, the importance of MSV design in terms of nanovector geometry and covalent/non-covalent attachment of tumor microenvironment targeting moieties to the surface of MSV, aiming therapeutics preferentially accumulating in the tumor site, will be discussed. In particular, we demonstrate that in orthotopic models of liver metastases of breast and lung cancers, albumin-bound paclitaxel (ABX)-loaded within MSV (MSV-ABX) enables therapeutic and survival benefits as compared to ABX.

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