Cancer Cell-Specific Hyperthermic Chemotherapy Treatment for Surgery-Resistant Abdominal Cancers

Cancers of the abdomen, such as stomach, colorectal, or ovarian cancer, are difficult to treat effectively due to their tendency to metastasize. The current state-of-the-art treatment, intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy (IPHC), is effective against tumor cells but also causes undesirable side effects in healthy cells. By incorporating nanoparticle-based compositions into the treatment plan, researchers maximize IPHC efficacy while minimizing side effects due to drug interaction with healthy cells.

Researchers at Wake Forest University have developed novel nanoparticle-based compositions that can be used to maximize the effectiveness of IPHC while reducing the toxicity of the chemotherapeutic agent to healthy cells. To maximize effectiveness, anti-cancer drugs are heated and then circulated through the peritoneum. Methods of using this composition have been shown experimentally in vitro to reduce the therapy time by over 200 fold (from 2 hours to a mere 30 seconds).

Benefits of this Hyperthermic Chemotherapy Treatment

  • Reduction in time of drug perfusion from hours to seconds
  • Requires no attachment of cancer drugs to the nanoparticle
  • Potential reduction in patient side effects
  • Reduction in the amount of anti-cancer drug needed, drastically reducing cost

Application Fields

  • Novel nanoparticle-based compositions promise to maximize the effectiveness of IPHC
  • This technology could be incorporated into a wide range of other hyperthermic-based chemotherapeutics


  • Proof-of-principle studies in vitro demonstrated the ability of nanoparticle-based compositions to reduce therapy time by over 200 fold.
  • Preclinical – animal model completed
  • Issued U.S. Patent 2013152032


  • Levi-Polyachenko, et al . Rapid Photothermal Intracellular Drug Delivery Using Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes.  Molecular Pharmaceutics 2009 Jul-Aug;6(4):1092-9.
  •  “Nanotubes for rapid photothermal intracellular drug delivery.” SciBX .  July 9, 2009.


Nicole Hope Levi, PhD
John H. Stewart, IV, MD
David L. Carroll, PhD

Licensing Contact

Charlie Shaw, PhD
Commercialization Associate

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