My research focuses on tailoring our well developed layer-by-layer nanoparticle system for use in immunotherapies of ovarian cancer. Immunotherapies show great promise in cancer treatment because of their use of the bodies natural defense against disease and their universality. Cancer can be very tricky to treat because of the differences between different types of cancers. Even cancers of the same tissue of origin can express very different bio markers and genetic footprints based on the mutations that led to disease. My goal is to avoid trying to focus on specific aspects of the tumor tissue to treat disease and instead, using layer-by-layer nanoparticles, deliver potent immune activators to the tumor environment, activating the patient's immune system to fight the tumor. This approach is designed to deliver cytokines that were previously too toxic for systemic delivery by masking the agents from the body using layer-by-layer until they are delivered to the tumor micro environment alone. This approach lends itself to using many activators including many cytokines previously abandoned for their toxicity. It also opens the door to many combination therapies which have proven to be very useful in immunotherapy through the use of embedding different agents in the different particle layers.
Email: barberio @ mit.edu