The Nanotechnology Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is a multidisciplinary, multidepartmental program that seeks to promote and facilitate the development of nanotechnologies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and related diseases. The Nanotechnology Center draws on Memorial Sloan Kettering’s expertise in the discovery, development, and clinical translation of new agents and technologies for oncology.
Nanotechnology is a science that seeks to understand and control matter at extremely small dimensions — between 1 and 100 nanometers. Nanoscale materials possess unusual physical, chemical, and biological properties, and have the potential to revolutionize cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. In particular, nanotechnology is opening intriguing new avenues for improving both the treatment and imaging of cancer.
The first generation of anticancer agents made with novel nanomaterials has successfully entered widespread use. Newer nanomaterials are garnering increasing interest as therapeutic and diagnostic agents.
The ability to control particular characteristics of nanomaterials — such as their size, shape, charge, surface patterning, and biochemical availability — offers investigators new opportunities to:
- Develop therapeutics with a particle size small enough to overcome physiologic barriers to drug delivery
- Examine nanoparticle interactions with cell membranes
- Synthesize and characterize novel nanoparticles for simultaneous targeted cancer treatment and imaging
- Develop minimally invasive probes for the detection and diagnosis of cancer
Nanotechnology could enable investigators to create intelligent drugs that can be specially engineered for increased cancer selectivity, enhanced pharmacokinetics, amplifications of cytotoxic effects, and multifunctionality, including simultaneous imaging capabilities.