2D Material-Based Multiple Oncotherapy Against Metastatic Disease Using a Radically New Computed Tomography Approach
  Progetto attivo [2023-2027]
Capo Progetto: Giancarlo Salviati (
Responsabile IMEM: Francesca Rossi (

PERSEUS intends to implement a novel nanotechnology-based cancer therapy for deep-seated clinically unmanageable, drug resistant and metastatic tumors. Practical use of nanotechnology in clinical cancer care is still in its infancy with a full potential yet to be realized. The therapy is based on a novel nano-system (NS) made of multifunctional 2D layered nanocrystals. The NS enables, under activation by computed tomography (CT), an effective multimodal therapy with minimal or no adverse effects. This novel paradigm uses CT not to eradicate cancer, but to trigger and to image the NS that locally activates non-mutagenic oncotherapies. The therapies delivered are excited by the conversion of low energy X-rays (i.e., CT) into heat, reactive oxygen species and radiosensitizing agents. X-ray irradiation can also induce immunogenic cell death with the exposure or release of neo-antigens to trigger an anticancer immune response. The use of X-rays makes it possible to reach deep-seated tumours that are inaccessible by visible or near-infrared light-based therapies. In other words, CT is the spark that lights the match. This is a radical vision for an ambitious and high-risk project. The current proposal targets a range of cancer types including metastatic triple negative breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, colorectal cancer, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The NS is biocompatible and totally inactive in the absence of CT radiation, i.e. the NS becomes active only where the CT beam is delivered, so minimizing side effects at distal sites. The therapy is agnostic to the type of cancer and to gender incidence because it doesn't affect the body biochemistry. This is a second change of paradigm. PERSEUS vision is pursued by a multidisciplinary team composed of physicists, chemists, chemical engineers, biologists, physicians, pharmacologists, and radiologists working together to develop an innovative nanotechnological approach to address unmet clinical needs.


National Research Council (Project coordinator) (Italy)

Karolinska Institutet (Sweden)

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (Israel)

Universidad de Vigo (Spain)

Wigner Fizikai Kutatóközpont (Hungary)

BeDimensional (Italy)

QED Film & Stage Productions Ltd (United Kingdom)