University of Massachusetts
Lowell, Massachusetts


Oral cancers develop in the mouth, the tongue, and the back of the throat. Surgery, radiation and possibly chemotherapy are the standard of care and can severely damage a patient’s ability to speak, swallow and chew. Often times, the cancer will return with these treatments.

Dr. Manijeh Goldberg has developed an innovative nano-engineered technology – the size of a penny – that delivers anti-cancer agents directly to oral and other cancers. The delivery system can be filled with chemotherapy, biologics and other small therapeutics and placed directly on tumor sites. This approach ensures targeted and timely delivery of high doses of the drug at the site, sparing patients the harsh toxicities of anti-cancer agents on their body.

A pre-surgery version of the delivery system can be applied topically and rapidly kill cancer cells, shrink tumors, and elicit a powerful immune response. It has already treated patients with oral cavity cancer in a Phase I and II clinical trial with an overall response rate of 87% and over 70% reduction in tumor volume was reported. High concentrations of the drug remained in the areas surrounding the tumor and no toxicities or severe adverse events were reported proving the delivery system is safe and tolerable for patients.

Support from NFCR’s AIM-HI Translational Research Initiative for Dr. Goldberg has helped to advance and plan this new promising treatment for Phase III clinical trials. This trial which is the large and late stage testing before approval by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration), is under planning.

This novel, save and effective delivery platform to treat oral cancers, other Head and Neck cancer, and many other types of solid cancer provides hope to patients that their lives can be saved.


Dr. Manijeh Goldberg received her Masters in Computer Science and Math at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and Master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Medical School. She received an MBA from MIT and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Goldberg developed the delivery system while a researcher at MIT and has numerous awards to develop the treatment for cancer patients. She has won coveted Innovation Awards from MIT, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation, and has private investors as well. In 2016, she received the national Tibbetts Award at the U.S. White House for outstanding contributions to the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR). She received the prestigious Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation Award and the MIT’s award for Best Product. Dr. Manijeh is founder of Privo Technologies which develops the nanoparticle based delivery systems.

Dr. Goldberg is just as passionate about mentoring women and connecting people with opportunities. She has trained almost 20 interns through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, an agency that supports and invests in innovation, education, research, and development, and commercialization in life sciences, and she has mentored students and postdoctoral scholars at various institutions.

Manijeh Goldberg, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts

Areas of Focus

Targeted Cancer Therapies
Innovative Therapies

Cancer Types

Bladder Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Head and Neck Cancer
Stomach and Esophageal Cancer