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Lanthanide-Enhancers in the radiotherapy of cancer.

Country of origin:
External Id: 
Last update
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Partner keyword: 
Cytology, Cancerology, Oncology
Medical Research
Medical Technology / Biomedical Engineering
Biochemistry / Biophysics
Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
Other therapeutic (including defibrillators)
Research and experimental development on biotechnology


A German university has developed a technology for coupling lanthanide compounds in lactic acid polymer (PLGA) nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are biodegradable and can be applied to intensify radiation in cancer tumour therapy. By this the cumulative radiation dose is reduced, thus causes a lower radiation burden for the patient. The university is looking for exclusive or non-exclusive licensing for further developing and marketing in United Kingdom or France; option agreements are possible.



The medical centre of the German university in the institute of radio-oncology and radiation therapy has developed a technology for coupling lanthanide compounds in PLGA nanoparticles.

In Europe almost one in three people suffer from cancer during the course of their life.
The radiation therapy is widely used as a method of treatment. Cancer cells will be harmed more, because they are more sensitive than healthy cells to ionizing radiation. Nevertheless, to reduce the cancer cell growth, significantly high doses of radiation have to be used, but this leads to unwanted side-effects. Locally acting enhancers can increase the radiation, so that the cumulative dose is reduced, and at the same time the ionizing effect in the tumour tissue itself is increased. The radiation enhancer should not be toxic for the healthy tissue.

The new technology uses lanthanides compounds, which are coupled to biodegradable lactic acid polymers to intensify radiation. The problem of unintended polymer accumulation in the body is avoided by the nanoparticles’ biodegradability. These particles can be introduced locally into the tumour tissue. For the radiation-potentiating effect it is sufficient to use only photon radiation, which is produced by common X-ray machines, thus additional neutron radiation is not necessary. X-ray machines usually exist in doctors’ surgeries, so that more widespread application of radiation enhancer is possible.
The lanthanide radiation enhancer can be disposed in all cancer treatments, which use radiation therapy. They ensure a more efficient combat against the tumour tissue by local enhancement of the radiation in the tumour, and thus a lower burden for the patient through a reduced cumulative dose.

The university seeks to license the new technology to companies capable to further develop the technology towards a marketable product.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
• Increased efficiency through locally increased radiation dose • less side effects by decreased cumulative dose • applicable for common X-ray machines • The lactic acid polymer (PLGA) is an approved adjuvant for pharmaceutical applications • PLGA-coupled lanthanide nanoparticles are biodegradable and non-toxic.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Under development/lab tested

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The university is looking for a pharmaceutic company that has the expertise and capacity to further develop the lanthanide nanoparticles towards a marketable product. Ideally the company has already established a good position in the medical market in France or United Kingdom, and is also interested in manufacturing and distribution of the product. Exclusive and non-exclusive licenses are considered. Option agreements for prior evaluating and testing the technology are also possible.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500


Dissemination sector group : 
Dissemination preferred : 
France, United Kingdom