Most teams include objectives devoted to targeted (bio)-therapies. Thus, the former teams of U-991 have developed projects in the field of vectorized therapies for liver diseases, particularly hepatocellular carcinomas and cholangiocarcinomas. Radioembolisation of liver tumours based on the injection directly into the hepatic artery of a radioactive compound that trigger the necrosis of the tumour has been studied and optimized for several years in U-991. Similarly, biocompatible block copolymers derived from poly(malic acid) for drug-delivery targeting the HCC were developed and characterized, as well as quilamine molecules associating an iron chelator and a polyamine. This chimeric molecule is taken up by cells through the polyamine transport system (PTS) especially by tumour cells which highly express the PTS, thus allowing their targeting.
In the new unit, the project on targeted therapies in liver cancer will be reinforced by merging forces from CIMIAD, EXPRES and TGTC including projects on liver-targeted drug delivery and metabolic radiotherapy; cell surface markers (e.g. receptors) recurrently induced in cancer cells in order to design efficient peptide ligands for therapeutic targeting; and characterization of quilamine molecules to explore their potential as anticancer chimiotherapies. All these projects consist in the identification of new biomarkers of diagnostic and pronostic and the development of innovating cancer treatments by means of new biotherapies, nanovectors for liver specific drug delivery and metabolic radiotherapy, particularly radioembolisation.
These objectives go from fundamental research to clinical validation with development of vectorisation systems including copolymer nanoparticles, Lipiodol, radiolabelled chelating agents, in vitro/in vivo tests and clinical trials.