Study of therapeutic effects of 2-photons controlled gene delivery with nanoparticles in uveal melanoma using organoids-on-chip model.


  • Frédérique Cunin, Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier, UMR5253
    • Emilie Lambert,PhD student Sciences Chimiques Balard
  • Frederic Zenhausern, Center for Applied Nanobioscience and Medicine, UArizona
    • Sean Edward Dunn, PhD student Clinical Translational Sciences, UArizona


Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary intraocular malignancy in adults with different prognostics. Standard of care carries side effects with long-term morbidities, including blindness. There is an unmet need for therapies protecting ocular tissues and preserving vision. This project will address this challenge by combining near-infrared photo-controlled gene-based therapeutic delivery with photonic nanomaterials to investigate focused gene therapy efficacy against UM using a new organoids-on-chip model. These technologies will unveil key economic opportunities for both UArizona and CNRS in the global nanomedicine market, targeting rising applications in oncology and other high-incidence diseases.

UM has a poor prognosis, a high tendency to metastasize, and high mortality rates. The current standard of care for primary tumor treatment is radiotherapy which carries a high risk of permanent vision loss. Although transpupillary or photodynamic thermotherapy (PDT) has been used for thin tumors (< 4mm) to attempt to avoid radiation-related vision loss, these treatments have been associated with unacceptable recurrence rates (20%). Intravitreal injection of targeted agents has been attempted with laser treatments to improve treatment efficacy, but tumor control rates have remained inferior to radiation-based modalities. Therefore, the grand challenge is developing new targeted therapeutic approaches that destroy the tumor and preserve ocular tissues and visual function. Through its interdisciplinary approach, this project supports the CNRS-UArizona global grand challenges in human health, tackling disease prevention and treatment.