Cancer stem cells are a type of cell that have the properties of both cancer cells and stem cells. They can differentiate into other types of cancer cells, are resistant to conventional chemotherapeutics, and seem to contribute greatly to the metastasis and recurrence of cancer. Due to these properties, eliminating cancer stem cells would be greatly beneficial in the treatment of cancer. While there have been approved therapeutic methods for the removal of a few of the cancer stem cells types, treatment for most types of cancer stem cells are still in the experimental phase and have yet to be used in a clinical setting.

This paper discusses the synthesis of the virus like particle conjugates of a breast cancer stem cell targeting compound that binds preferentially to breast cancer stem cells. Once in the cell, it is designed to release a chemotherapeutic drug to initiate apoptosis. This research can potentially be used in the future to help treat breast cancer, and be used as a model for treating other types of cancer as well.

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Committee members

Dr. Jiyong Lee, Dr. Sean C. Butler, Dr. Dustin P. Patterson


Masters of Science in Chemistry