• The Gill Lab

  • Gold nanoparticles
    Gold nanoparticles as a novel
    platform for development and
    delivery of influenza vaccines.
    (Image Credit: Wenqian Tao)
  • Confocal image of pollens
    Plant pollens and spores as
    a novel platform for oral
    delivery of vaccines.
    (Image Credit: Yunzhe Ma)
  • Microneedle array
    Painless microneedles for
    vaccine and drug delivery to various
    tissues of the human body.
    (Image Credit: Harvinder Gill)
  • SEM of pollens
    Plant pollens and spores as
    a novel platform for oral
    delivery of vaccines.
    (Image Credit: Jasim Uddin)
  • Oral cavity histology
    Microneedles for local delivery
    of cancer medications to
    oral cavity for management of
    oro-pharyngeal tumors.
    (Image Credit: Yunzhe Ma)

Locoregional drug delivery to treat head and neck tumors

In 2012, an estimated 40,250 new cases of oral cavity and oropharyngeal carcinomas will be diagnosed in the US and 7,850 people will succumb to the disease. Of these, tongue carcinomas alone account for about 60% of the cases. Despite surgery, the five-year survival rate for stage-I tongue carcinomas is 71% while for stages III and IV it is 37-47%. Because of its aggressive nature, tongue carcinomas are typically treated by resection of tumor-infested tissue. As a consequence, the patients have to suffer from severe speech, eating, cosmetic and psychological disabilities. The objective of this research is to develop a novel minimally-invasive treatment modality of tongue carcinomas to prevent organ loss and the associated disability and trauma. We are harnessing the ability of microneedles (micron-sized needles) to deliver cancer drugs directly into the tongue tumor. Microneedles are painless and minimally invasive and microneedle arrays can be designed with tens to hundreds of microneedles with controllable spacing, providing a single step approach to not only treat a large tumor surface but to also achieve uniform drug delivery in the tumor. This approach can also reduce systemic toxicity from anti-tumor drugs. (⇐BACK)

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