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Northwestern receives major award for nanotechnology cancer center

The new center will build upon and leverage previous research advancements and discoveries. For example, significant advances at Northwestern in the development of highly sensitive and selective nanoscale sensors will provide a research foundation for the early detection of ovarian cancer. Although the cure rate for ovarian cancer is high if detected early, ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers. Using nanotechnology, researchers hope to provide a screening tool that identifies patients in early stages of ovarian cancer, when treatments are most effective.

Center researchers also will combine advanced research in molecular and cell biology with nanotechnology with the goal of developing a new class of drugs that inhibit cancer cells from spreading throughout the body. Other projects include developing imaging probes hundreds of times more sensitive than those currently available and with the ability to report on physiological changes in cells and developing nanoscale cargo bins that can target cancer cells, bind to them and unload chemotherapeutic agents directly to the source.

"This new effort will build a bridge between scientists, engineers and clinicians -- all focused on advancing the application of nanotechnology for the diagnosis, early detection and treatment of human cancer," said Steven T. Rosen, M.D., director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and Genevieve Teuton Professor of Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine. "I am confident that this effort will lead to new discoveries that will enhance the care of patients and lead to approaches that prolong life."

The center will be able to leverage existing infrastructure as well as an extensive array of equipment, facilities and laboratories. On the Evanston campus, center researchers are housed in the four-story, 44,000 net square-foot, state-of-the-art Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular S
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Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
3-Oct-2005


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