According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer therapies are currently limited to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy – all of which risk normal tissues or do not effectively eradicate the cancer. Innovations in nanotechnology aim to direct therapies directly at cancer cells, resulting in a targeted approach to treatment.
Siva Therapeutics is dedicated to becoming a leader in nanotechnology cancer therapies and we are rapidly developing innovative nanotechnology approaches for the treatment of cancer.
Targeting and Destroying Cancer Cells
Targeted Hyperthermia is an interventional oncology approach which employs the systemic injection of polymer-coated gold nanorods (SivaRods) into the patient and illumination of the affected region with a near infrared light device (SivaLum). The SivaRods concentrate in tumors, absorb the infrared light, and convert it into therapeutic heat which emanates from within the tumor mass. Heat stimulates the immune system, shrinks tumors, and also enhances drug efficacy.
Our technology employs:
1) the injection of a suspension of precision gold nanorods manufactured in a size, shape, and surface chemistry that cause them to selectively infiltrate growing, abnormally vascularized cancer tissues, and
2) targeted hyperthermia, in which infrared light is used to heat the nanorods, thereby destroying tumors while leaving surrounding tissue relatively unharmed.
Heat can destroy cancer cells. The challenge in using heat effectively has been to direct the heat to the tumors without damaging adjacent healthy tissue. Precision nanorods solve this problem. Nanorods are preferentially absorbed and retained by vascular tumors, and can direct heat to the tumor tissue.
Why SivaRods Therapy?
First, SivaRods nanorods can be manufactured with a higher degree of precision than other gold particles, resulting in a much narrower size distribution, and much higher dimension uniformity. Second, SivaRods nanorods absorb infrared radiation, and re-emit this radiation as heat, permitting photothermal heating of targeted tissues. Conventional gold particles are roughly spherical in shape, and they absorb (and re-emit) shorter wavelengths of light, rather than infrared, eliminating photothermal capabilities. In fact, the wavelength at which SivaRods nanorods absorb and re-emit light can be precisely tuned by regulating the length of the rods.
Improving Patient Outcome
Important to our work is the delivery of methods and technology that improve patient health and outcomes once faced with cancer.