Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence
for Translational Diagnostics (CCNE-TD)
The multidisciplinary CCNE-TD program will be managed by the experienced team currently managing the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence and Translation (CCNE-T). Administrative core members include Drs. Sam Gambhir (PD/PI), Shan Wang (co-PI), Demir Akin (Deputy Director), and Billie Robles (Program Coordinator). Dr. Akin, who is the Deputy Director of our currently running CCNE and leads the Administrative Core, will continue in this role for the CCNE-TD. This dedicated and highly experienced administrative and management team is committed to ensuring that all components of the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence for Translational Diagnostics (CCNE-TD) are successful and achieve all quantitative milestones. The Administrative Core team will also be provided additional resources that include an administrative assistant and a financial analyst (both from the Department of Radiology) to accomplish the following:
1. Monitor Research Projects to ensure that quantitative milestones are met.
2. Monitor Cores to ensure that state-of-the-art support services are available to the CCNE-TD.
3. Monitor progress of the entire program quantitative milestones.
4. Monitor budgetary needs and expenditures.
5. Ensure that all planned meetings, symposia, retreats, etc. are scheduled and conducted.
6. Maintain detailed minutes of all meetings for progress reporting.
7. Ensure timely and thorough progress reporting.
8. Ensure data sharing and dissemination.
9. Ensure communication flow among and between all groups and committees.
10. Monitor and expand education/interaction opportunities for CCNE-TD postdocs and graduate students.
11. Facilitate Center interactions as well as interactions outside of the Center.
12. Work closely with the NCI-assigned scientific officer, the NCI Alliance, and the caNanoLab.
The Nano Characterization and Nano Fabrication research core will provided advanced characterization and synthesis support for the projects within the CCNE-TD. The core consists of the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (SNSF) which is comprised of the Stanford Nanocharacterization Laboratory (SNL) and the Stanford Nano Center (SNC) offering resources for the analysis and fabrication of nanostructures and their interactions with biological materials. The SNL and SNC host advanced characterization and fabrication equipment as well as a sophisticated staff of experts able to train and support users in the operation of this equipment. These facilities include a FEI Titan 300-80kV environmental transmission electron microscope (TEM), a high resolution FEI Magellan scanning electron microscope (SEM), a FEI Helios dual beam focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope with cryogenic capabilities (FIB/SEM) and a JEOL JBX-6300 electron beam lithography system (E-Beam) among many others. The Nano Characterization and Nano Fabrication core will utilize these facilities and their expertise in the characterization of nanostructures and their interactions with biological materials to support the research goals of all the projects associated with the CCNE-TD. This support will include the use of a liquid cell TEM sample holder to characterize the nanobubbles being generated as ultrasound and photoacoustic contrast agents in project 4. We will also be using the advanced cryo capabilities of the Helios dual beam to prepare biological TEM samples of the highest quality to locate the self-assembling nanoparticles being developed in project 1 inside of cells. The Nano Characterization and Nano Fabrication core will provide expert support to all of the projects in the CCNE-TD as well as the other CCNEs that may need advanced characterization or fabrication support.
Lung and prostate cancer together comprise a significant proportion of patients with cancer. These diseases are curable when detected early; however, when disease is advanced, more sophisticated ways to monitor response to therapy are clearly needed to make earlier decisions during the treatment course. The nanotechnologies developed in the CCNE-TD are well suited to advance early detection and therapeutic monitoring in lung and prostate cancer, with the potential to transform cancer care. The Clinical Translational Core (Core 2) team is comprised of a team of physicians and scientists with specific experience in developing new technologies for early detection and therapeutic monitoring in Prostate and Lung Cancers who are committed to moving nanotechnologies developed within the CCNE-TD into clinical application.
Early input from clinical investigators in this Core will help avoid: (1) Development of technologies to study parameters of limited relevance to cancer; (2) Protocols with logistical or physical limitations that preclude eventual clinical translation; and (3) Delays in development because the proper clinical investigators, approvals and study staff have not been put in place (a process that can take 6 months to a year). Core 2 will assist project PIs to develop and implement a path for clinical translation with continuous support over the lifetime of the project, from early technology development, through pilot clinical testing, all the way to planning potential validation studies. The CCNE mechanism does not allow funding for prospective clinical trials. Nevertheless, the Clinical Translational Core will provide high quality specimens for pilot projects to bridge to other funded activities as well as apply for new funding for clinical trials to which we are whole-heartedly committed.
Core 2 is dedicated to assisting each of the research project leaders achieve the following: 1) Identify internal and external sources of clinical specimens/patients to facilitate nanotechnology development; 2) Acquire material transfer agreements to receive clinical specimens 3) Obtain Institutional Review Board exemption or approval to use the nanotechnology in ex vivo samples 4) Provide antibodies and specimens to projects for pilot testing as required (Core 2 will secure access to 3 lung cancer and 2 prostate cancer clinical sample repositories, as well as 3 repositories that include additional cancer types); 5) Interface with external agencies including the NCI’s Nanocharacterization Lab, and Food and Drug Administration for Investigational New Drug filings on behalf of project PI’s for first-in-man studies; and 6) Consult on preparation of proposals for sources of clinical trial funding. Over the 5 years of CCNE-TD, we anticipate that Core 2 will distribute 6-8 custom antibodies or antibody fragments, >400 plasma or serum samples, >100 whole blood or fresh tissue samples, and >100 tumor specimens to our investigators. The Clinical and Translational Core will facilitate clinical implementation of CCNE-TD nanotechnologies and will contribute significantly to the center’s overall success.