Utrecht University The Netharlands
Gert Storm is a (bio)pharmaceutical Scientist at Utrecht University (Dept. Pharmaceutics). He studied biology and obtained his Ph.D. at the Dept. of Pharmaceutics of the same university. He is also Professor (Targeted Therapeutics) at the MIRA institute of the University of Twente (Netherlands). Besides, he keeps a position at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) within the Centre for Image-Guided Oncological Interventions. He is (co-)author of more than 400 publications in the field of advanced drug delivery/drug targeting and imaging-guided drug delivery.
Targeted nanomedicines are being developed to increase the therapeutic index of anticancer drugs. Temperature-responsive drug delivery vehicles that release their payload upon applying a local temperature increase using focused ultrasound offer the potential to improve the therapeutic efficacy. The combination of ultrasound-mediated drug delivery with MRI allows full spatial and temporal control of the drug delivery process. This new field of MR image-guided drug delivery creates exciting opportunities to expand applications of existing drugs by altered (and often tunable) pharmacokinetics and to monitor and validate drug delivery. The HIFU-CHEM project is a translational project sponsored by the Dutch public-private organization CTMM and is investigating new treatment options of liver and bone metastasis using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) guided by MR (MRgHIFU) in combination with temperature-sensitive nanomedicines. MRI provides anatomical information for planning of the therapeutic intervention, temperature mapping for local hyperthermia control, as well as monitoring of the local drug release. Besides inducing a local temperature raise, the interaction of ultrasound waves with tissue may also enhance extravasation and membrane permeability due to local pressure fluctuations, leading to a further increase of drug uptake. The project will bring for the first time ever the concept of local drug delivery using MRgHIFU in combination with ThermoDox®, a temperature-sensitive liposome encapsulating doxorubicin as the chemotherapeutic drug, into the clinic. The HIFU-CHEM consortium brings together academic and industrial technological teams on MRgHIFU (UMCU, Philips), drug nanotechnologies (UMCU, Technical University Eindhoven, Celsion) as well clinical teams specialized in applications of MRgHIFU (NIH, UMCU).