Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) represents one of the most aggressive, deadly forms of breast cancer, and because this cancer lacks estrogen, progesterone, and Human Epidermal Growth Factor (HER-2) receptors, many existing pharmacological treatments have a limited effect on patient survival. The proposed innovation aims to address the lack of targeted therapies for effective treatment of TNBC, as the lack of an efficient targeted approach represents a significant barrier for patients diagnosed with TNBC. Because TNBC responds so poorly to chemotherapy, a mastectomy is often performed to increase overall survival. The proposed innovation may eliminate the need for mastectomy. Potential customers include physicians, health care administrators, and patients. In addition to oncologists that would prescribe our treatment, customers would also include people who influence the decision to use the proposed treatment. These customers would include health care providers.
Induction of intracellular acidosis via photo uncaging of protons has until not been pursued as a technique for inflicting damage to cells. Releasing significant concentrations of hydrogen ions causes variable disruption to biological systems, and can be used to cause apoptotic cell death in a focal region such as within a tumor. This fundamental alteration to cells intracellular pH is almost impossible to garner a resistance toward, has been shown to be highly effective in causing significant cancer cell death in vitro and in vivo, has an acutely focal effect providing limitless potential for specific cell targeting using a recently developed pH-inducing photodynamic nanoparticle, and is an abundant and relatively inexpensive chemical compound. The commercial viability of this intellectual property has tremendous potential, as the mechanisms of action employed in causing significant death of TNBC cells in vitro and in vivo is not cancer specific. If developed and entered into the market, the proposed intracellular acidosis anti-cancer technique has the potential to rival or surpass current chemotherapeutic, radiation, or surgical methods of cancer treatment. This I-Corps team intends to establish the current unmet needs of all principals in the TNBC treatment space, specifically oncologists, hospital administrators, pharmaceutical companies, patients, and FDA regulators. The team will also identify needs for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics studies. At the end of the project this team will draft a business plan which will include a mission statement, objectives, keys to success, products and services, management plan, market analysis to include customers, pricing, competition, and delivery, and measurable milestones of progress.