Shape the Future of Medicine: Cast Your Vote

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital August 13, 2015

Two compelling competitions to advance medical innovation the BRIght Futures Prize and Stepping Strong Innovator Awards – are currently under way at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and you can help determine the winner.

BRIght Futures Prize

The BRIght Futures Prize supports BWH investigators as they work to answer provocative questions or solve vexing problems in medicine. This year’s BRIght Futures Prize finalists – Christopher Fanta, MD, from the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the BWH Lung Center; Wilfred Ngwa, PhD, from the Department of Radiation Oncology; and William Savage MD, PhD, from the Department of Pathology  are pursuing forward-thinking and inventive research to improve patient care. Each of the three finalists hopes to receive the $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize, which will be awarded at Discover Brigham on Oct. 7, 2015. Discover Brigham, highlights the cutting-edge biomedical investigations of more than 3,000 researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).

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Nanomedicine May Help to Prevent Heart Attacks

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 12, 2015

The nanoparticle's special surface is designed to stick to fatty deposits.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Columbia University researchers have developed a microscopic medicine that could be used to help prevent heart attacks caused by atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is a buildup of plaque (mainly cholesterol deposits) within the arteries. This thickening of the artery walls decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to vital body organs and extremities, which can lead to severe cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease (CHD), carotid artery disease, and peripheral artery disease (PAD). Atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries continues to be the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S., and about one half of all strokes in this country are caused by atherosclerosis.

Through preclinical testing, the BWH and Columbia University researchers aimed to demonstrate that medical treatment of atherosclerosis can be significantly improved by significantly improving the precision of treatment. They designed nanometer-sized, biodegradable “drones” that are programmed to travel to the exact area of the artery where treatment is required, and, once there, deliver a precise dose of a special anti-inflammatory medication that promotes healing. The size of the nanomedicine particles – 1,000 times smaller than the tip of a single human-hair strand – helps them to maneuver to the inside of the plaque. The particles’ special surface, designed to stick to fatty deposits, helps to keep them there.

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A Tiny Cancer Medicine with Mega Potential

Posted by Blog Administrator April 20, 2012

BIND-014 (artist’s rendering from Digizyme, Inc.): A microscopic cancer treatment

BIND-014 (artist’s rendering from Digizyme, Inc.): A microscopic cancer treatment

When it comes to cancer treatment, we’ve discovered that a tiny medicine can have a huge impact.

A multidisciplinary  team of scientists, engineers, and physicians from eight institutions, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have created BIND-014, an innovative nanomedicine (medicine at a microscopic level) that may revolutionize cancer treatment. It is the first medicine of its kind to be applied in human clinical trials – examining its safety and effectiveness in treating several types of cancer – and early results are very promising.

A BIND-014 nanoparticle is so small that it would take about one thousand of them lined up side-by-side to equal the width of a single human hair. Yet, despite their tiny size, each nanoparticle is its own complex drug therapy system. The system has three main functions – finding the cancer, avoiding detection by the immune system, and delivering high concentrations of cancer-fighting drugs to the tumor.

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