National Cancer Institute symposium exploring the application of nanotechnology in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, which includes The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center and the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland, will sponsor a National Cancer Institute symposium exploring the application of nanotechnology in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. The symposium will be held Oct. 27, at the InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center Cleveland, located on The Cleveland Clinic campus.

The symposium is part of a series of regional meetings the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is holding among cancer researchers, engineers and physical scientists to accelerate research in nanotechnology for breakthroughs in diagnosing and treating cancer patients. Nanotechnology is the creation of useful materials, devices and systems through the manipulation of matter on a miniscule scale. The NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, recently launched a five-year initiative — the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer — to support innovative research, team science and clinical application of nanotechnology-based cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.

“Nanotechnology is a tremendously exciting field that affords us the opportunity to radically change the way we detect, treat and prevent cancer,” said Anna Barker, Ph.D., deputy director for Advanced Technologies and Strategic Partnerships at the NCI. “We could see significant and, perhaps, even paradigm-changing advances in the next five years. The timing of this NCI symposium in Cleveland is perfect to bring multiple disciplines and scientific collaborators together in this joint effort.”

“The symposium will highlight progress of the newest program in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center where nanotechnology is being used to detect cancers earlier and to deliver cancer drugs with greater benefit,” said Stanton Gerson, M.D., director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and University Hospitals’ Ireland Cancer Center. “Our investigators are developing new drug delivery including gene therapy through nano-scale particles and complexes that will improve targeted delivery to tumors. Our imaging research has developed new molecules that provide remarkable sensitivity and accuracy to cancer detection.”

“It is a great testament to the quality of science at the Lerner Research Institute, Taussig Cancer Center, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ireland Cancer Center that we have attracted a meeting of this caliber to Cleveland,” said Derek Raghavan, M.D., Ph.D., director of The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center. “There are many groups conducting research in nanotechnology in this area, and this meeting will allow their research agendas and experience to interface with scientists and clinicians who are studying cancer research. It will be a provocative stimulus to many new collaborations in the Ohio and the broader region. I commend Dr. Shuvo Roy of the Clinic for his vision of a NanoMedicine Summit and his leadership in bringing all of the parties together.”

The NCI symposium will follow The Cleveland Clinic NanoMedicine Summit 2004, which takes place Oct. 25-26 at the InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center Cleveland. The event kicks off Cleveland NANO Week and is being presented in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University, Cornell University and the Maple Fund. The NanoMedicine Summit will offer insight from top nanotechnology experts and draw biomedical researchers and leading practitioners in the fields of cardiology, neurology, oncology and orthopaedics.

The NCI symposium is specifically targeted toward cancer researchers, nanoscientists, oncologists and other scientists interested in investigating the role of nanotechnology to address cancer research, diagnosis and treatment.

The field of nanotechnology combines chemistry and engineering to develop new materials by manipulating existing materials to produce the precise structures needed. The materials may be smaller than a few hundred nanometers, or billionths of a meter. The field promises to offer revolutionary new opportunities in healthcare technology.

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