Targeted therapy for the treatment of head and neck cancer; using nanoparticles to radiosensitize cells." It is Exhibit B.14 of grant agreement #21.

Project: Research project

Project Details


Head and neck cancers, similarly to cervical cancer, have high expression of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). In addition, about one half of all Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Cancers (OPSCCs) are positive for human papilloma virus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection passed through skin-to-skin contact. Interestingly, while virtually all cervical cancers are positive for HPV and relatively radiation-resistant, the HPV-positive status in head and neck cancers correlates with better response to radiation therapy. This project will use nanoparticles that bind to and activate EGFR in order to isolate protein partners of activated EGFR in radiationsensitive and resistant OPSCC cell lines (HPVpositive and negative, respectively). This will enable testing the hypothesis that additional modifications of nanoparticles can modulate their capacity to activate EGFR signaling cascade. This research will evaluate several such modifications in HPV-positive and negative OPSCC cell lines. Finally, the team also will evaluate effects of hypoxia, environmental oxygen deficiency, on therapy resistance of HPV-negative OPSCC cells and explore whether EGFR-targeted and additionally modified nanoparticles can be used to alter therapy response.
Effective start/end date6/1/2012/31/21


  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Award 07/02/2020)


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