Thomas Jefferson University Research Magazine



Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) - the most common type of lung cancer—is very difficult to treat, but Sunday Shoyele, PhD, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, has developed a nanotechnology-based treatment. The new approach, which was effective in recent tests with mouse models, uses nanoparticles to deliver a molecule known to stall NSCLC tumor growth and believed to make cancer cells more susceptible to chemotherapy.

The molecule—microRNA 29b—is an example of the category of “silencing RNAs” (siRNAs) that interfere with the pathway by which individual genes are expressed. siRNAs are capable of both shutting down disease-causing processes in the cell and stripping away diseased cells’ ability to resist treatments. The challenge is getting them intact to the point of disease. Dr. Shoyele’s research program focuses on creating efficient and effective ways to deliver these therapeutic tools.