Cell-Mediated Gene Delivery

Immune cell-based strategies are an emerging field of cancer therapy. By exploiting the role of macrophages in the innate immune system it is possible to deliver genetic material directly to both disease sites and regions of inflammation. The Kabanov Lab has pioneered the use of macrophages for drug delivery into the brain and into ischemic muscle tissue. The process occurs in healthy animals but is enhanced in pathological states. Our preliminary data suggests that macrophages can also transfer genes to the tumor microenvironment.

Killing Tumor Cells in the Bloodstream using Functionalized Liposomes

This is a collaborative project with Prof. Mike King’s Laboratory at Cornell University. We developed novel functionalized liposomes and tested their efficacy in inducing apoptosis in circulating tumor cells. The majority of cancer deaths arise from metastasis of the primary tumor to distant organs, often by tumor cells that travel through the bloodstream. No effective treatment to inhibit the process of metastasis exists, although such an approach could have a profound impact on cancer treatment.


Wayne EC,  Chandrasekaran S, Mitchell MJ, Chan MF, Lee RE,  Schaffer CB, King MR. (2016) “TRAIL-coated leukocytes that prevent the bloodborne metastasis of prostate cancer“. Journal of Controlled Release 223, 215-223.  Featured on Journal Cover. cover-outside

Mitchell MJ, Wayne EC, Rana K, Schaffer CB, and King MR. (2014) “TRAIL-Coated. Leukocytes that Kill Cancer Cells in the Circulation.” PNAS. Early Edition.

Joseph A Rosenthal; Chung-Jr Huang; Anne M Doody; Tiffany Leung; Kaho Mineta; Danielle D Feng; Elizabeth C Wayne; Nozomi Nishimura; Cynthia Leifer; Matthew P DeLisa; Susana Mendez; David Putnam. (2014) “Mechanistic Insight into the TH1-biased Immune Response to Recombinant Subunit Vaccines Delivered by Probiotic Bacteria-Derived Outer Membrane Vesicles” PloS one 9 (11), e112802