Kaminskas Lab

Kaminskas Research Group

Dr Lisa Kaminskas

NHMRC Research Fellow
Tel: 9903 9522
Email: lisa.kaminskas@monash.edu


Lisa is an NHMRC Career Development fellow with over 10 years experience in the biopharmaceutical evaluation of dendrimers as drug delivery systems. Her primary area of interest is the development and characterisation of drug delivery systems and approaches to improve the delivery of drugs towards solid tumours, lymphatic metastases and lung cancers. Most of her work in this area has centred around dendrimer-based delivery systems, and some of her early work recently led to the translation of a dendrimer-based chemotherapeutic nanomedicine into clinical trials for advanced solid tumours in Australia. This work was conducted in collaboration with Melbourne-based biotech company and international leader in dendrimer biotechnology, Starpharma Pty Ltd. She was recently awarded a Cancer Australia PdCCRS grant to develop the first inhalable dendrimer-based platform for the improved treatment of lung-resident cancers based on preliminary research that was published in the premier drug delivery journal, Journal of Controlled Release.  She also has an interest in and NHNMRC funding to explore the use of optimal PEGylation to enhance the lymphatic delivery of protein- and peptide-based medications that have indications against lymph-resident diseases. The ultimate goal of this work is to identify approaches that can lead to the improved activity of protein-based therapeutics against lymph resident diseases, such as HIV, lymphoma and lymph-metastatic cancers.

Research focus:

The metastatic dissemination of cancer accounts for 90% of all cancer related deaths. Cancers may metastasize either via the blood and target distant organs (such as the lungs, which are a common site of secondary tumour formation) or via the lymph and lodge initially in primary draining (sentinel) lymph nodes. Currently, the pharmaceutical management of metastatic cancer is via the intravenous administration of small molecule chemotherapeutics that distribute throughout the entire body, leading to severe drug related side effects with no guarantee of killing the cancer. Lung resident cancers are particularly difficult to treat with intravenous small molecule cytotoxic drugs, and patients with primary lung cancers and lung metastases have only a 10-15% chance of survival beyond 5 years.

My research is therefore focused on using nanotechnology and drug formulation approaches to improve the treatment of metastatic cancers by: 1) the pharmaceutical development of nanochemotherapeutic platforms to enhance the delivery of cancer chemotherapy drugs towards primary tumours and sites of lymph and lung metastasis; 2) optimising the biopharmaceutical properties of protein-based cancer therapeutics and immunomodulators to maximise exposure to lymphatic metastases. My lab specialises in characterising the lymphatic and tumour biodistribution of novel nanochemotherapeutics and PEGylated proteins and in evaluating the biopharmaceutical behavior of inhaled chemotherapeutic nanomedicines.

Targeting lymphatic metastases
Targeting lymphatic metastases
Targeting lung metastases
Targeting lung metastases

Key Publications:

  1. Pulmonary administration of a doxorubicin-conjugated dendrimer enhances drug exposure to lung metastases and improves cancer therapy. Kaminskas LM, McLeod VM, Ryan GM, Kelly BD, Haynes JM, Williamson M, Thienthong N, Owen DJ, Porter CJ. J Control Release. 2014 Jun 10;183:18-26
  2. PEGylation of interferon α2 improves lymphatic exposure after subcutaneous and intravenous administration and improves antitumour efficacy against lymphatic breast cancer metastases. Kaminskas LM, Ascher DB, McLeod VM, Herold MJ, Le CP, Sloan EK, Porter CJ. J Control Release. 2013 Jun 10;168(2):200-8.
  3. Association of chemotherapeutic drugs with dendrimer nanocarriers: an assessment of the merits of covalent conjugation compared to noncovalent encapsulation. Kaminskas LM, McLeod VM, Porter CJ, Boyd BJ. Mol Pharm. 2012 Mar 5;9(3):355-73.
  4. A comparison of changes to doxorubicin pharmacokinetics, antitumor activity, and toxicity mediated by PEGylated dendrimer and PEGylated liposome drug delivery systems. Kaminskas LM, McLeod VM, Kelly BD, Sberna G, Boyd BJ, Williamson M, Owen DJ, Porter CJ. Nanomedicine. 2012 Jan;8(1):103-11.
  5. Capping methotrexate α-carboxyl groups enhances systemic exposure and retains the cytotoxicity of drug conjugated PEGylated polylysine dendrimers. Kaminskas LM, Kelly BD, McLeod VM, Sberna G, Boyd BJ, Owen DJ, Porter CJ. Mol Pharm. 2011 Apr 4;8(2):338-49.


NHMRC, ARC, Cancer Australia, Starpharma Pty Ltd