Nanotechnology for diagnosing and treating prostate cancer will be the focus of a five-year, $1.58 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to Penn State and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Jian Yang, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Jer-Tsong Hsieh, the Dr. John McConnell Distinguished Chair in Prostate Cancer Research at Texas, will be co-principal investigators.
As part of the effort, Penn State will receive about $651,000.
The research seeks to develop an alternative to chemotherapy, which Yang said causes significant side effects and is also ineffective on many patients who have developed drug resistance to conventional chemotherapy.
The team will aim to create a method to identify a prostate cancer specific drug, a genotoxin to avoid drug resistance. The researchers seek to develop a biodegradable and biocompatible nanoparticle capable of targeting and imaging the prostate cancers.
Yang said he hopes the team's experimental therapy study will lead to a more personalized medical approach to treating prostate cancer.