|Electron micrographs of SivaRods™ (each rod is
approximately 12 x 50 nm).
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
At Siva Therapeutics, we are researching ways to target and destroy cancer cells from within by using gold nanoparticles that we term SivaRodsTM combined with near-infrared light. The light heats the SivaRodsTM in a process called hyperthermia.
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) hyperthermia, in which infrared light is used to heat the nanorods, thereby destroying tumors while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed. Initial preclinical studies have established proof of concept (toxicology and efficacy) in mice, and additional animal studies are underway. Early testing has been very successful, eliminating tumors in mice in as few as 25 days.
Hyperthermia can destroy cancer cells. The challenge in using hyperthermia effectively has been directing 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 animal studies indicate that Siva Therapeutics' treatment will work not only on the primary tumor, but also on spreading and early metastases of tumors.
First, SivaRodsTM can be manufactured with a higher degree of precision than other gold particles, resulting in a much narrower size distribution of SivaRodsTM, and much higher uniformity of SivaRodsTM dimensions. Second, SivaRodsTM 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 SivaRodsTM absorb and re-emit light can be precisely tuned by regulating the length of the rods.
Our vision is to commercialize an FDA cleared medical device that effectively treats cancer using hyperthermia - resulting in a new avenue of cancer therapy that ultimately saves thousands of lives.
Improving Patient Outcome
Important to our work is the delivery of methods and technology that improve patient health and outcomes once faced with cancer.