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Development of a nano-encapsulated biomimetic small molecule therapeutic for the treatment of colon cancer

Current therapies for colon cancer rely primarily on drug combinations of cytotoxic chemotherapy, and are often unable to prevent tumor resistance and recurrence. While several biologic agents targeting growth factors have been approved in combination with chemotherapy, there is still a great number of patients that typically do not respond to these standard-of-care treatments.

This proposal will pursue the development of a novel class of non-cytotoxic small molecules for the treatment of colon cancer. These new agents have been designed to mimic the actions of endogenous anti-inflammatory molecules that are able to suppress the chronic inflammatory microenvironment found in the tumor milieu. Chronic inflammation is required for maintaining tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis. The suppression of inflammation ultimately deprives the tumor of essential growth elements, resulting in cellular apoptosis and tumor death. Preliminary studies on this innovative concept show great translational potential for the treatment of colon cancer.