|Awarded On||March 29, 2012|
|Title||ß-Lapachone Nanotherapeutics for NQO1-Targeted Therapy of Cancer|
|Award Mechanism||Bridging the Gap: Early Translational Research Awards|
|Institution/Organization||The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center|
|Principal Investigator/Program Director||Jinming Gao|
|Cancer Sites||Lung and Bronchus, Sarcoma|
Making cancer therapies safer, with greater tumor-specificity and little or no drug resistance during treatment, is a major goal of our research. We discovered that ß-lapachone (ß-lap), a novel therapeutic agent, specifically kills cancer cells that over-express a particular enzyme, NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1). ß-Lap induces a unique cell death mechanism in which NQO1+ cancer cells specifically kill themselves by trying to metabolize the drug. When metabolized, ß-lap produces hydrogen peroxide and cancer cells literally disinfect themselves. Since NQO1 is over-expressed in most solid cancers of the lung (e.g., nonsmall cell), pancreas, breast, and prostate, and is expressed at lo...