Kristel Tjandra1,2,3, Joshua A. McCarroll2,3,4, Maria Kavallaris2,3,4, Pall Thordarson1,2,3*


1School of Chemistry, UNSW Australia, Sydney, Australia,
2 Australian Centre for Nanomedicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
3 ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology
4 Children’s Cancer Institute for Medical Research, Randwick, Australia,*


Targeting cancer in a specific manner remains a major challenge in the field of drug delivery. Small peptides with cell-targeting ability provide a potential mean by which cancer drug can be delivered in a specific manner. Compared to its larger protein and antibody counterparts, peptides have many advantages as a drug carrier including its simple synthesis and well-defined chemical modification for large scale production, as well as better tumour penetration due to its relatively small size. The aim of this study is to identify a cell-targeting peptide through phage display technology (Figure 1A) and evaluate its ability in delivering anticancer drug to its target. This drug delivery system is developed with a purpose to improve the current chemotherapy application in young patients with medulloblastoma. Through this technique a heptapeptide with high affinity towards DAOY cell line was obtained and subsequently conjugated to doxorubicin (Figure 1B). In vitro toxicity profile of this peptide-drug conjugate is promising with enhanced specificity towards cancerous cells, while healthy cells were less affected. Cellular uptake study showed that the conjugate bypasses the passive transport that the drug usually undergoes, hence is potential in alleviating the possibility of drug-resistance which is often observed with this anticancer drug (Figure 1C). This presentation will describe the discovery, chemistry and biological activity of this heptapeptide and assess the applicability of cell-targeting peptides as drug carriers.  

Biographic Details

Kristel Tjandra

PhD Candidate

School of Chemistry, UNSW Australia


Research interests: nanomedicine, bioconjugation, drug-delivery systems, peptide