The Deep Cancer project – NT2 aims to develop new nanotheranostics for the treatment of deep cancers such as prostate and pancreatic cancers. This project is currently in the drug design phase and the preclinical assays were conducted in 2021. Both prostate and pancreatic cancers are major health issues, especially, pancreatic cancer which is the one with the poorest prognosis. As these organs are too deep to be reached by a Near Infra Red (NIR) laser, photothermal therapy (as used in our Nanotheranostics Project NT1) cannot be considered as a strategy.
For patients who cannot be operated, a therapeutic option is radiotherapy. The disadvantage of this treatment is that health tissues surrounding the tumor are impacted too by the x-rays. In order to decrease the delivered dose to healthy tissues, radio-enhancers can be used. Radio-enhancers are particles which can interact with X-rays and generate secondary radiations. These radiations as the X-rays are able to generate Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), mainly by radiolysis, inside the tissues.