NOV 14, 2020 7:15 AM PST

New intravenous anti-cancer therapy crosses blood-brain barrier

New research from the University of Michigan reports for the first time a new synthetic protein nanoparticle that is able to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to brain tumors. This drug is the first intravenous medication capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.

The study was conducted in mice models to assess the effects of the drug on glioblastoma, which is the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer in adults. The research team found that seven out of eight mice administered the intravenous therapy experienced long-term survival. Furthermore, when those seven mice experienced a recurrence of glioblastoma, the research showed that their immune responses were successfully activated.

"It's still a bit of a miracle to us," said co-author Joerg Lahann, the Wolfgang Pauli Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering. "Where we would expect to see some levels of tumor growth, they just didn't form when we rechallenged the mice. I've worked in this field for more than 10 years and have not seen anything like this."

As Lahann implies, these findings have huge implications. The median survival for patients with glioblastoma is around 18 months and the average 5-year survival rate is below 5%. This intravenous nanoparticle delivery therapy could potentially lead to improved treatments for the deadly cancer.

"This is a huge step toward clinical implementation," said co-senior author of the study, Maria Castro, the R.C. Schneider Collegiate Professor of Neurosurgery. "This is the first study to demonstrate the ability to deliver therapeutic drugs systemically, or intravenously, that can also cross the blood-brain barrier to reach tumors."

Photo: Pexels

The nanoparticle therapy uses the building blocks of a protein present in the blood known as human serum albumin, which is one of the rare molecules capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. According to the team, their technique could be eventually be adapted to deliver other small-molecule drugs and therapies to solid-based tumors.

Sources: Nature, Science Daily

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
MAR 12, 2021
Cancer
Toxic molecules in flame retardants increase breast cancer risk
MAR 12, 2021
Toxic molecules in flame retardants increase breast cancer risk
New research reported in the February issue of the journal Toxicological Sciences suggests that brominated flame re ...
MAR 22, 2021
Cancer
Can we use our own bacteria to fight cancer?
MAR 22, 2021
Can we use our own bacteria to fight cancer?
New research highlighted recently in Nature explores the ways that bacteria in tumors could be targeted to trigger immun ...
APR 07, 2021
Cancer
Does inhibiting NLRP3 inhibit melanoma tumor growth?
APR 07, 2021
Does inhibiting NLRP3 inhibit melanoma tumor growth?
Researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center have published exciting findings in the Proceedings of the Natio ...
MAY 05, 2021
Immunology
Novel 3D Bio-printed Leukemia Model Shows Potential for Treatment Testing Platform
MAY 05, 2021
Novel 3D Bio-printed Leukemia Model Shows Potential for Treatment Testing Platform
Three-dimensional (3D) printing has become a common technique over the past two decades. Now, the technique has been ado ...
JUN 08, 2021
Immunology
Fueling the Immune System's Killers
JUN 08, 2021
Fueling the Immune System's Killers
There’s a group of “killers” protecting your body against infections and eliminating potentially cance ...
JUN 10, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Does Lithium Prevent Colon Cancer?
JUN 10, 2021
Does Lithium Prevent Colon Cancer?
Researchers found that a drug used in the treatment of mental illness can promote the fitness of healthy gut stem cells, ...
Loading Comments...