The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has announced the implementation of a major component of its $144.3 million five-year initiative for nanotechnology in cancer research.
First year awards totaling $26.3 million will help establish seven Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNEs).
“We believe that nanotechnology will have a transformative effect on cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institute.
“In fact, its impact is already visible in the research being conducted through many of the centers we are announcing today.”
“Through the applications of nanotechnology, we will increase the rate of progress towards eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer.”
NCI launched the plan to create the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer in September 2004, as a comprehensive, integrated initiative to develop and translate cancer-related nanotechnology research into clinical practice.
NCI's Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer encompasses four major program components, including the CCNEs.
CCNEs are multi-institutional hubs that will focus on integrating nanotechnology into basic and applied cancer research and provide solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Each of the CCNE awardees is associated with one or more NCI-designated Cancer Centers, affiliated with schools of engineering and physical sciences, and partnered with not-for-profit organizations and/or private sector firms, with the specific intent of advancing the technologies being developed.
CCNE awardees are - Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C., Center of Nanotechnology for Treatment, Understanding, and Monitoring of Cancer, University of California, San Diego, Calif, Emory-Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Center for Personalized and Predictive Oncology, Atlanta, Ga., MIT-Harvard Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, Cambridge, Mass., Nanomaterials for Cancer Diagnostics and Therapeutics, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., Nanosystems Biology Cancer Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., The Siteman Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.
“NCI has supported the application of nanotechnology to cancer through a variety of programs and interactions with the scientific community for more than seven years, and we're very gratified that our activities are helping to advance a pipeline of new product opportunities,” noted NCI Deputy Director Anna Barker, Ph.D.
“In what we believe will be a paradigm shift for cancer research, unprecedented numbers of multidisciplinary teams of basic and clinical researchers at world-class institutions are networking their research together to focus on the key cancer nanotech opportunities.”
“The depth and diversity of the Centers of Nanotechnology Excellence award submissions were extraordinary.”
“With the advent of the CCNEs, we are particularly looking forward to new nanotech-based therapeutic delivery systems that could enhance the efficacy and tolerability of cancer treatments - an advance that would greatly benefit cancer patients.”