Ana Sofia Silva receives Best Ph.D. Thesis Award from ISASF

May 12, 2016

Ana Sofia Silva, MIT Portugal alumna, was distinguished with the Best Thesis Award for her PhD thesis, entitled "Multifunctional nano-in-micro formulations for lung cancer theragnosis", during the 16th European Meeting of Supercritical Fluids in Essen, Germany, on May 11th. This award is attributed every two years by the International Society for the Advancement of Supercritical Fluids to distinguish the best works developed by recent graduates.

Ana Sofia Silva's PhD was carried out at FCT-NOVA at the Polymer Synthesis and Processing group, from LAQV-REQUIMTE, under the supervision of Ana Aguiar-Ricardo, Full Professor at the Chemistry Department of FCT-NOVA. The research work was done in collaboration with the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering group from Universidade da Beira Interior (UBI), under the supervision of Ilídio Correia, Assistant Professor at UBI.

Ana Sofia Silva's thesis proposes a new therapeutic approach to lung cancer, the most common and leading cause of cancer death in both men and women worldwide. Despite the clinical and technological advances, the majority of patients are lately diagnosed with either locally advanced or metastatic disease. In fact, 86% of the patients with lung cancer die within two years, while only 14% survive for five years.

Ana Sofia Silva explains that the results presented in her thesis "reveal the extraordinary advantages of combining nanotechnology, molecular biology, polymer science, chemical engineering and supercritical fluid technologies, to develop robust and reliable pulmonary delivery systems for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer".

For this purpose, "nanoparticulated systems with therapeutic and/or diagnosis capabilities were embedded into respirable microparticles to be delivered to the lungs. In order to minimize costs, environmental impact, and eventual toxicity, the particles for pulmonary inhalation engineered during my PhD, were produced using sustainable methodologies like supercritical assisted spray drying (SASD), a process based on supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) technology, an emerging technology exploited at Professor Ana Aguiar Ricardo's lab", says Ana Sofia Silva.

After preliminary works for the optimization of such micronized powders, Ana Sofia Silva spent 5 months at MIT, at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in Paula Hammond's lab developing a new approach to lung cancer therapy that combines the newly pulmonary administration mechanism with gene therapy. She developed layer-by-layer nanocarriers comprising a nanolayer of small interference RNA, which is able to knockdown mutated oncogenes by interfering directly with them. The novel powder developed by Ana Sofia Silva was tested in healthy mice in order to assess the biodistribution of the particles. The successful outcomes are truly exciting and provide a potential strategy opening new insights to effective gene therapy in lung adenocarcinoma situations.

MIT Portugal Program

Related Lung Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

State-level lung cancer screening rates not aligned with lung cancer burden in the US
A new study reports that state-level lung cancer screening rates were not aligned with lung cancer burden.

The lung microbiome may affect lung cancer pathogenesis and prognosis
Enrichment of the lungs with oral commensal microbes was associated with advanced stage disease, worse prognosis, and tumor progression in patients with lung cancer, according to results from a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New analysis finds lung cancer screening reduces rates of lung cancer-specific death
Low-dose CT screening methods may prevent one death per 250 at-risk adults screened, according to a meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled clinical trials of lung cancer screening.

'Social smokers' face disproportionate risk of death from lung disease and lung cancer
'Social smokers' are more than twice as likely to die of lung disease and more than eight times as likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Lung cancer therapy may improve outcomes of metastatic brain cancer
A medication commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, or metastasized, may have benefits for patients with metastatic brain cancers, suggests a new review and analysis led by researchers at St.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Lung transplant patients face elevated lung cancer risk
In an American Journal of Transplantation study, lung cancer risk was increased after lung transplantation, especially in the native (non-transplanted) lung of single lung transplant recipients.

Proposed cancer treatment may boost lung cancer stem cells, study warns
Epigenetic therapies -- targeting enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell -- are of growing interest in the cancer field as a way of making a cancer less aggressive or less malignant.

Are you at risk for lung cancer?
This question isn't only for people who've smoked a lot.

Read More: Lung Cancer News and Lung Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to