Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL)
Cancer remains one of the most difficult diseases to both diagnosis and treat. Although great strides have been made for some cancers, the incidence and death rate for many other cancers continues to plague the population. In an effort to help advance the clinical translation of novel nanomedicines designed to improve therapeutic outcomes and enhance diagnostic capabilities, the National Cancer Institute, in concert with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), created the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL).
The NCL has been pursuing preclinical characterization and development of these oncology-directed therapies and diagnostics for more than ten years now. In this time, NCL’s multi-disciplinary team has worked with more than 100 of the world’s foremost nanotechnology research organizations and evaluated more than 300 different nanomaterials. Nearly a dozen NCL collaborators are now in human clinical trials with novel treatment strategies afforded through nanotechnology. NCL’s unique setup has afforded an extraordinary opportunity to explore the biocompatibility trends and advantages and disadvantages of a vast array of nanoplatforms, cytotoxics, and targeting strategies in a relatively limited time span. Through sustained research and extensive educational outreach, the NCL strives to continually improve the pursuit of these much needed therapies, speeding their progression to clinical trials.