A research project led by Professor Sylvain Martel will receive $1.5 million over a three-year period to accelerate the transition of existing knowledge into a clinical application for prostate cancer treatment.
Prostate Cancer Canada and The Movember Foundation announced they will fund a research project led by Professor Sylvain Martel, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Medical Nanorobotics and Director of the Polytechnique Montréal Nanorobotics Laboratory, where bacteria is used as a delivery service for prostate cancer drug. This project has been selected because of its with very real potential to make a tangible difference in the lives of men living with aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
Dr. Martel and his team are focused on improving the accuracy and speed of drug delivery to sites where prostate cancer cells have spread, which will lead to better therapeutic effects while reducing toxicity for the patient. In order to accomplish this, they are proposing innovative delivery vehicles that have exceptional propulsion, sensory, and navigation capabilities – bacteria. Using special bacteria that cause no significant immune response, they will conduct human-scale studies with the aim of introducing these natural nanorobots as key delivery agents in the treatment of prostate cancers.
“The road from research discoveries to real-world impact can be long and winding, and it is for that very reason that projects such as these are so exciting,” explained Dr. Stuart Edmonds, Prostate Cancer Canada’s Vice President of Research, Health Promotion and Survivorship.
“The Movember Foundation’s mission is to stop men dying too young, and this pioneering project represent an incredible opportunity to do exactly that,” said Paul Villanti, Movember Foundation’s Director of Programmes. “It is only through the efforts of our amazing community of fundraisers in Canada that we are in a position to take these promising new treatment methods for men from the lab that vital step closer to clinical practice. We are hugely grateful to these incredible individuals who make such a difference.”
Under Professor Martel’s guidance, researchers from Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University have developed new nanorobotic agents capable of navigating through the bloodstream to administer a drug with precision by specifically targeting the active cancerous cells of tumours. This way of injecting medication ensures the optimal targeting of a tumour and avoids jeopardizing the integrity of organs and surrounding healthy tissues. As a result, the drug dosage that is highly toxic for the human organism could be significantly reduced.
Sylvain Martel, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Medical Nanorobotics and Director of the Polytechnique Montréal Nanorobotics Laboratory.
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