New diagnostic and therapeutic tools
against multidrug resistant tumours

Training School “Targeting MDR Tumours: from natural product chemistry to nanocarrier-based formulation”

Organized by researchers of COST STRATAGEM WG2 (New therapeutic tools against MDR & Nanodelivery of the therapeutic tools) this summer school allowed students to reinforce their knowledge about new bio-active compounds and drug delivery strategies to overcome therapy resistance.


The Training School took place between 30 June and 02 July 2021 in the Department of Chemistry and Technology of Drugs, Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine, Sapienza University.

There were 20 participants from 14 countries, among whom 6 early career investigators. There were six speakers, presenting the theoretical basics (Prof. Romano Silvestri, Dr. Deborah Quaglio, Dr. Francesca Chirgo, Dr. Mattia Mori, Prof. Chiara Di Meio and Prof. Catherine Passirani) and for the laboratory practicals, each group of students was guided by researchers, specialized in the respective technique.

The training school was organized around theoretical lectures on different topics (NPs chemistry, NPs library, mechanism of action of new anticancer agents, nanocarrier formulation, cancer treatments, targeting of multidrug resistant (MDR) tumours) and practical experiments (natural product chemistry, physicochemical characterisation, nanoformulation) in the laboratories of the department.

Theoretical and practical notions on the anticancer action of NPs allowed the training school participants (PhD students and Postdocs of STRATAGEM-affiliated laboratories) to explore different aspects from nanoparticles (NPs) synthesis to their incorporation in nanometric carriers capable of targeting MDR tumours.


The natural products (NPs) drug discovery process was outlined highlighting the key steps:
  1. hit compound identification by in silico and in vitro screening of NPs library;
  2. isolation and structural elucidation of NPs;
  3. synthesis and characterization of NPs and derivatives;
  4. encapsulation of the most promising NPs within nanoparticles (lipid nanocapsules and polysaccharide nanogels) to increase their bioavailability, decrease their toxicity and improve the targeting of cancer cells.



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