GLYCOVAX-NanoCarb workshop – Summary (2/2)

The second day of the GLYCOVAX-NanoCarb workshop started with a talk by Dr. Luca Toschi from Humanitas Cancer Center. Dr. Toschi held the first plenary lecture of the day highlighting the recent approaches in immunotherapy and how these are combined with pre-existing chemotherapy strategies. A special focus of the talk was on lung cancer and its related mutations. Dr. Zeljka Kreptic from the University of Salford was the second speaker. Her research is focused on the development of advanced nanotechnologies for cancer treatment. Dr. Kreptic discussed the main features of nanoparticles as novel therapeutics; why using gold-based nanoparticles and the different challenges of the field such as functionalization processes and delivery to reach the tumor site.

The second session of the workshop was opened by Dr. Africa Barrientos from Midatech Pharma Spain, who discussed the company’s recent advances and developments in nanotechnology for cancer treatment. Her talk was focused on the production of gold nanoparticles as a multifunctional platform for sugar functionalization. An example of how the nanoparticles are used for hepatocarcinoma cancer treatment and type-1 diabetes was also discussed. In the following talk, Dr. Marco Monopoli (RCSI) discussed the relevance of the biomolecular corona, highlighting the complexity of nanoparticle characterization in biological fluids. He explained the interactions and binding of nanoparticles with proteins and the influence on cellular targeting.

Dr. Paolo Bigini from the Mario Negri Institute gave a presentation about institute’s experience with in vivo studies highlighting the process required going from in vitro to in vivo studies. Dr. Daniel Spencer (Ludger Ltd.), discussed the complex glycans purification process. Glycans make a huge contribution to human biological functions and biopharmaceutical efficacy. They can be redesigned for more effective biopharmaceutical drugs and can be utilized in biomarker discovery. Due to their huge impact, being able to study them in a rapid, sensitive, accurate and highly resolving manner is key to future discoveries.  Lastly, we were honored to have a talk by Prof. Silvio Garattini, founder and director of Mario Negri Institute, who held a presentation about the market of drugs: lights and shadows.

Thursday 16th May Workshop speakers: Dr. Paolo Bigini, Prof. Silvio Garattini (IRFMN), Dr. Marco Monopoli (RCSI), Dr. Zeljka Kreptic (University of Salford), Dr. Laura Polito (CNR), Dr. Luca Toschi (Humanitas Research Center), Prof. Luigi Lay (UNIMI), Dr. Africa Barrientos (Midatech Pharma) and Dr. Daniel Spencer (Ludger).