About Us

The Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (C-CCNE) is an NCI-funded collaboration between the University of North Carolina and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC). The C-CCNE was launched in 2005 as part of NCI’s Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer as one of eight original centers in the national program. In 2010, NCI awarded $13.6M over five years for C-CCNE Phase 2 as one of nine centers funded in the new phase.

One of the difficulties in harnessing the full potential of nanotechnology is its multidisciplinary nature. At UNC- Chapel Hill and its Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC), we understand the role of effective communication, and have created a synergy among chemists, physicists, biologists and clinicians that fosters collaborative pursuits and a commitment to bringing these  transformative technologies to actual applications that benefit patients.

C-CCNE focuses on improving cancer disease control and management with exciting new and cutting edge nanotechnologies to enhance treatment and early detection of cancer. CCNE proposes five research projects in two nanotechnology focuses: Nanoparticle based delivery of siRNA and chemotherapy and Carbon nanotube based radiation therapy and early detection. READ MORE

Nanoparticle Based Delivery of siRNA and Chemotherapy

  • Project 1: Biodistribution Maps of PRINT Nanoparticles
    Improve in vivo delivery of therapeutics by intelligent design of particles, targeting and biomimetic approaches to avoid phagocytic systems through PRINT technology.
  • Project 2: Ras pathway siRNA for Lung Cancer Treatment
    Novel techniques to deliver Ras pathway siRNA using genetically engineered mouse lung cancer models.
  • Project 3: Translational Nanosystems for Improved Lung Cancer Treatment with Small Molecules
    Direct comparison of three nanoparticle delivery systems for taxol and platinum compounds using a sophisticated resistant and metastatic orthotopic mouse model of lung cancer.

Carbon Nanotube Based Radiation Therapy and Early Detection

  • Project 4: Compact Micro Beam Radiation Therapy System for Brain Cancer Treatment
    A novel device to deliver high dose radiation therapy with minimal normal tissue damage.
  • Project 5: Stationary Digital Breast Tomosynthesis System for Early Breast Cancer Detection
    A clinic ready improved digital breast imaging device for earlier and accurate detection of breast tumors.

C-CCNE Cores

These five inter-related projects will be supported by three CCNE-funded cores.

  • Analytical and Pharmacokinetics Core will determine the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters for the therapeutic systems developed by C-CCNE.
  • Targeting Ligand Core will utilize a combination of cutting-edge combinatorial library selection technologies, such as mRNA display, cell- and in vivo SELEX, to develop high quality targeting ligands with desired features, including low immunogenicity, high target-binding affinity, specificity, avidity, and reduced manufacturing costs, for the targeted delivery of nanoparticles to tumor tissues.
  • Small Animal Imaging Core is operated in conjunction with the UNC Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC) and provides MRI, PET, SPECT, CT, Ultrasound, optical imaging, and a carbon nanotube based micro-CT system, which was built by Dr. Zhou in the previous C-CCNE grant period. This system added high quality in vivo CT imaging capabilities with real-time respiration and cardiac gating to SAI Core. The goal of the SAI Core is to leverage the advanced imaging capabilities in the BRIC to facilitate CCNE projects.


Figure I. The Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology proposes five reserch projects focused on treatment and early detection of cancer.  The chart indicates the focus of each project and its relative basic and translational component.  The blue-shaded areas represent nanoparticle-based projects, and the green-shaded areas represent projects employing carban sources. The center of the diugum xepxesents the shared C- CCNE cores and exxstmg UNC/LCCC xesouzces Interaction: of core: projects are shawn by the overlap of a core’s cuculaa’ arfcvv ‘mth n project A vanety uf external collaborator:/rewwces me inchated by the boxes to the left of the circula: dmgum Abbuevmlionz Alliance, NCI Allmnce for N-moteclmology m C ancex, RAID, Rapid Access to Inte1veutio11Deve1opment; CTEP, Cancer Therapy Evaluatum Progam; UNC OTD, UNC Office uf Technology Development, CTSA Clxmcul Txmsl-sbonal Sczence Award to UNC, NCL, NmotechmlogyC1macte:izutim1Lab



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