Dartmouth Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence

About the DCCNE

The Dartmouth Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence focuses on the development and optimization of novel antibody-tagged iron-core magnetic nanoparticles activated through alternating magnetic field exposure for the treatment of solid tumors in the breast and ovary. It consists of 4 projects:

These projects are supported by 3 scientific cores:

There are 3 organizational themes for the research activities within the DCCNE:

  • Theme 1 is the magnetic nanoparticle itself, which consists of a single domain ferromagnetic iron core with an iron oxide coating that has been developed at Dartmouth. Our ability to reproducibly manufacture these biocompatible-coated iron-core/iron-oxide shell ferromagnetic magnetic nanoparticles over an order of magnitude of core sizes (10-100 nm), which are monodispersed with reproducible magnetic properties, is central to all 4 DCCNE projects.
  • Theme 2 is the recognition that these magnetic nanoparticles, even though innovative in their construction and concomitant material/magnetic properties, are of modest value alone if they cannot be targeted, monitored, and excited for therapeutic gain in preclinical models that offer the hope for clinical translation into human cancer patients in the near term. Each of the 4 projects of the DCCNE will address one or more of the targeting, monitoring, and activating requirements of magnetic nanoparticle-mediated therapy. Collectively, the group will cover the full span necessary for both breast and ovarian cancer treatments.
  • Theme 3 is the potential of the DCCNE research activities to contribute significantly to near-term clinical utilization and commercialization of the technology developed. We have assembled a multidisciplinary team of experts to focus on one type of nanotechnology (magnetic nanoparticles) in two specific cancers (breast and ovarian, for which Dartmouth has strong track-records of preclinical and clinical accomplishments) for which we have well-developed industrial collaborations and partnerships. The DCCNE organization enhances project integration, both conceptually and practically, to meet the multi-dimensional challenges imposed by focusing on clinical translation.

The long-term vision for the DCCNE seeks to achieve 3 over-arching goals:

  • Develop the capability to target magnetic nanoparticles to specific tumor tissues/cells and produce concentrations sufficient for their detection and excitation of a therapeutic effect.
  • Determine the distribution and localization of magnetic nanoparticles in specific tumor tissues/cells by non-invasive imaging techniques.
  • Develop effective treatment strategies for breast and ovarian cancers dependent on excitation of magnetic nanoparticles through alternating magnetic field exposure that damage the tumor cells directly and/or elicit anti-tumor immunity.

DCCNE Organization

Organization of the DCCNE