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  1. Abstract

    Breast cancer is a major cause of cancer-associated deaths in the United States. It was estimated that 12% of women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. The human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2/neu) is a growth-promoting protein that is overexpressed in 15–20% of breast cancers (HER2-positive breast cancer). HER2-positive breast cancer generally grows and spreads more quickly than other breast cancers, but it can be targeted therapeutically. Targeting drugs have been developed with a specific design to stop the growth and even the spread of cancer. These drugs include trastuzumab (Herceptin), pertuzumab (Perjeta), ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla, or TDM-1), fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan, lapatinib, neratinib and tucatinib. However, the need for better targeted therapy and efficacy still exists. Nanotechnology could have major advantages in terms of detection, targeting, drug delivery, and destruction of cancer cells and tumors. Although a great deal of progress has been accomplished major challenges still need to be addressed. In this review, we examine the major areas of research in the area of nanotechnology and HER2-positive breast cancer.

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  2. Abstract

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the most complex types of cancers to detect, diagnose, and treat. However, the field of nanomedicine has strong potential to address such challenges. When evaluating the diffusion and penetration of theranostic nanoparticles, the extracellular matrix (ECM) is of crucial importance because it acts as a barrier to the tumor microenvironment. In the present study, the penetration of functionalized, fluorescent gold nanorods into large (>500 μm) multicellular 3D tissue spheroids was studied using a multimodal imaging approach. The spheroids were generated by co-culturing pancreatic cancer cells and pancreatic stellate cells in multiple ratios to mimic variable tumor-stromal compositions and to investigate nanoparticle penetration. Fluorescence live imaging, photothermal, and photoacoustic analysis were utilized to examine nanoparticle behavior in the spheroids. Uniquely, the nanorods are intrinsically photoacoustic and photothermal, enabling multi-imaging detection even when fluorescence tracking is not possible or ideal.

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