Transferrin Aptamer (TfR) aggregates at the receptors on the surface of cancer cells​


Professor Nagy Habib

What we do

We have been developing cancer-specific RNA aptamers to facilitate targeted delivery of potent siRNA therapeutic molecules to cancer cells without harming non-tumoural cells. This specificity makes it possible to tailor make a specific therapy for patients with pancreatic cancer expressing transferrin receptors at their surface.Rat brain scans

Why is it important

Pancreatic cancer has a miserable prognosis. Approximately 25% survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed but only 5% survive for 5 years or more. One reason for the poor outlook for pancreatic cancer is that it is often diagnosed late. Only around 10% can have surgery to remove pancreatic cancer, which gives the best chance of cure.

How it can benefit patients

Currently, this research is in pre-clinical development with expectation that it will be transferred to a clinical trial in the next 12 months.


Summary of current research

This work is being led at ICL, but in collaboration with Professor John Rossi and his lab at the Beckman Research Institute at the City of Hope Hospital in USA.

Our researchers