Grant ID RP120897
Awarded On March 29, 2012
Title ß-Lapachone Nanotherapeutics for NQO1-Targeted Therapy of Cancer
Program Academic Research
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
Contracted Amount $999,597
Lay Summary

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...

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