Current chemotherapy treatments for cancer have devastating effects on the patient including hair loss, diarrhea, fatigue, memory changes, nausea, neuropathy, and loss of appetite. The drugs are toxic and kill both cancer cells and healthy cells. The drug is free to roam around the bloodstream, killing healthy cells and causing adverse side effects. There is a need for targeted, triggered delivery systems for cancer drugs. Many benefits can be realized by delivering cancer drugs to the cancer site and triggering release at that site. Since the targeted delivery would efficiently deliver the drug to the cancer site, a smaller dose would be required. Furthermore, the targeted delivery would allow the use of more active but more toxic drugs. I am currently working on the design and assembly of a targeted, magnetically triggered drug delivery system which would consist of a polymer micelle. Trapped in the crystalline core would be a hydrophobic cancer drug and magnetic particles. Targeting has been demonstrated by attaching a RGD peptide to the periphery of the polymer micelles. The RGD peptide bind to integins expressed on the surface of certain cancer cells lines. When exposed to an external radio frequency ac magnetic field, the particles will heat by magnetic induction, melting the crystalline core and allowing drug to be released at the tumor site.
Keywords - Targeted Drug Delivery for Chemotherapy, Chemical Education