Radionuclide-loaded Nanoliposomes for Tumor Radiotherapy

Tech ID:


Invention Description:

Surgical removal of cancerous tissue remains the single best treatment modality for patients with malignant solid tumors.  Many solid-tumor cancers, however, are un-resectable or only partially resectable due to the location of the tumor (as in brain cancers) and/or a tumor?s intimate association with un-resectable anatomical structures (as is often the case with head and neck cancers). Unfortunately, patients with cancers that cannot totally be removed surgically have a poor prognosis.  Traditional external beam radiotherapy (EBR) can be effective against solid tumors, but it has limited utility in complicated cases such as brain cancers where the need to limit damage to normal tissues is imperative.  Thus, while effective, the use of EBR is associated with serious limitations that have the effect of reducing the practicality and utility of EBR in clinical cancer care. 


Scientists at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio have developed an internal radiotherapy approach that utilizes radiolabeled nanoparticles to deliver high doses of anticancer radiotherapy via Convection-Enhanced Delivery (CED) infusion directly into solid tumors. The liposome nanotherapy approach utilizes the Beta particle-emitting radionuclide rhenium-186, which has a 90 hour half-life and is very powerful, but penetrates tissues only ~2mm (80-100 cell diameters) from any one particle.  This small extra-tumor irradiated field helps to ensure that maximum treatment is delivered to cancerous tissue as well as a small distance beyond the tumor in order to minimize the risk of recurrence.


Market Applications:

Late stage preclinical animal testing is currently being conducted.  First human trials are planned for glioblastoma, for which few effective therapeutic options exist.  In addition to glioblastoma and head and neck cancers, patients with cancers in which organ sparing is an important treatment consideration ? such as prostate and breast cancers ? might benefit from this internal radiotherapy.


Benefits and Advantages:

·        Rhenium-loaded liposomes exhibit high uptake in the solid tumor, but cause minimal collateral tissue damage, compared to external beam radiation, because of direct tumor targeting

·        Strong in-vivo proof-of-concept demonstrated in two solid-tumor cancer models including glioblastoma (brain cancer) and head and neck cancers.

·        Higher level of radiation dose is possible compared to external beam radiation  

·        Patients can be re-treated due to minimal damage to normal tissue afforded by this method


Intellectual Property:       U.S. Patent 7,718,160, Issued patents in Europe, Canada, Australia

Inventors:                         William Phillips, Ande Bao & Beth Goins

Contact Information:                Claude C. Longoria, MBA, Asst. Dir., New Venture Development

        Tel:  210.562.4034

Patent Information:
For information contact:
John Fritz
Sr. Business Development Manager
Office of Technology Commercialization
Ande Bao
Beth Goins
William Phillips