Patricia Dankers starts pre-clinical research hydrogel in cancer treatment

The recently received ERC Proof of Concept Grant (PoC) provides Patricia Dankers PhD PhD with the means to start pre-clinical research on the application of a new hydrogel drug combination in treatment of tumors in the peritoneum. The concept of combining this hydrogel with medication was developed in the research group Supramolecular Biomaterials for Translational Biomedical Science led by Dankers in the department of Biomedical Engineering at the TU/e; this concept is a potential game changer in the delivery of drugs in the human body. Previous research in her group has proven the potential of the hydrogel for drug release in the heart.

The potential of the new application is underlined by receiving the PoC; this grant is awarded on the basis of a valid business case and the potential of the concept in market and/or clinical application. Dankers collaborates with Geert van Almen PhD (TU/e) and surgeon dr. Ignace de Hingh (Catharina Hospital) to turn this project into a success.

Delivery of cancer medication

Tumors in the peritoneum are often metastasis of intestinal cancer and are very difficult to treat. Patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis are currently treated with invasive surgery in which the abdomen is flushed with large amounts of the cancer medication. This is a risky operation for the patient, as well as the surgeon and other medical staff present.

ERC Proof of Concept Grant

Only applicants who previously received an ERC Grant can apply for a PoC. “These Proof of Concept grants, worth €150,000 each, can be used, for example, to establish intellectual property rights, investigate business opportunities or conduct technical validation.” Source: erc.europa.eu/

Patricia Dankers

Patricia Y.W. Dankers PhD PhD is associate professor in the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS) and the department of Biomedical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. Her main research interest lies in the design, synthesis and characterization of functional supramolecular biomaterials for biomedical application.