Nanoparticle breast cancer treatment buoyed by fellowship

Dr Kylie Wagstaff

Laser-activated nanoparticles that destroy breast cancer cells sound like the fodder of science fiction – but this cutting-edge technology is exactly what Dr Kylie Wagstaff from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute researches. To support this research, Dr Wagstaff has just been awarded a Career Development Fellowship from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Dr Wagstaff said her research would help to better target breast cancer treatments, as well as aiding the diagnosis of tumours.

“The project aims to develop a new series of laser-activated nanoparticles that will specifically deliver and release drugs to breast cancer cells only, without harming nearby healthy cells. This should result in much better outcomes for patients,” Dr Wagstaff said.

“The particles can also be seen using medical imaging techniques such as CT and MRI, but only when they accumulate (such as at a cancer site), so these particles can be used simultaneously for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.”

Dr Wagstaff has been awarded almost $670,000 over four years to fund her research.

“I am honoured to receive this fellowship, and also very excited as this work will allow me to establish my own research group, as well as extend my interdisciplinary collaborations,” she said.

The Career Development Fellowship scheme aims to develop the most outstanding and creative breast cancer researchers across a range of research disciplines.