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Press Release

Press Release

Doctoral Thesis on Improving Traditional Combination Cancer Therapy 

M.Sc. Xiaodong Ma’s doctoral thesis in Pharmaceutical Development will be put forth for public defence at Faculty of Science and Engineering at Åbo Akademi University.

The thesis is entitled Stimuli-Responsive Prodrug Nanomaterials for Combination Therapy of Cancer.

The public defence of the doctoral thesis takes place on 15 December 2023 at 1PM in the Argentum auditorium, Aurum, Henrikinkatu 2, Turku. .You can also attend the public defence of this doctoral thesis online. Associate Professor Mingshi Yang, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, will serve as opponent and Professor Hongbo Zhang, Åbo Akademi University, as custos.


Cancer is a challenging disease to cure. Current treatment methods mainly include chemotherapy and phototherapy. Chemotherapy drugs, due to their high toxicity and systemic distribution, still cause great suffering for cancer patients. Moreover, the clinical efficacy of single-drug treatment is limited due to the complex pathogenesis of malignant tumors and multi-drug resistance often exhibited by tumor cells. To address these challenges, combination therapy with multiple drugs or multiple treatment modalities is widely used to treat various malignancies. In parallel, the rapid development of nanotechnology has promoted the application of nanomedicines in combination chemotherapy. Still, although nanodrugs can increase the drug concentration in the tumor area, the residual nanodrugs in the liver and kidneys still pose a huge threat to human health. Prodrugs are pharmacologically inactive drugs or compounds that are metabolized into pharmacologically active drugs after ingestion by the human body. Prodrug treatment strategies have become an exploratory direction to address the side effects of chemical therapy. Nanomedicine-based prodrugs can be prepared to improve targeting efficiency by using cancer cell targeting ligands and respond to the slightly acidic and reducing microenvironment of the tumor by using different chemical bonds, which can improve the antitumor effect and reduce the toxic side effects on healthy tissues.

In summary, this thesis has provided new ideas for improving the shortcomings of traditional combined chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy, realizing the synchronous delivery and controlled release of different antitumor drugs, enhancing the synergy of drugs, and improving the efficacy of inhibiting tumor proliferation and metastasis. 


Xiaodong Ma can be reached by email xiaodong.ma@abo.fi.

The doctoral thesis can be read online through the Doria publication archive. 


Instructions on how to follow the doctoral defence remotely

To follow the defence, you need the Zoom software or the Google Chrome browser. You do not need to create a Zoom account to follow the defence. If you install the application, you participate by clicking on the meeting link, after which you should allow the link to open in the Zoom app.