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
MAY 28, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Some Biofilms Seem to Activate Cancer Genes
MAY 28, 2021
Some Biofilms Seem to Activate Cancer Genes
New research assessed bacterial and fungal biofilms, tenacious microbial communities that are tougher than small groups ...
JUN 06, 2021
Cancer
New drug reduces tumor size in lung cancer patients with KRAS gene mutation
JUN 06, 2021
New drug reduces tumor size in lung cancer patients with KRAS gene mutation
The most recent results from the CODEBREAK 100 phase 2 clinical trial support the use of the drug sotorasib to reduce tu ...
JUN 22, 2021
Cancer
Evaluating adverse effects of induction therapy for neuroblastoma
JUN 22, 2021
Evaluating adverse effects of induction therapy for neuroblastoma
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports an evaluation of the chemotherapy treatment given to child ...
JUL 26, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
A Region of Non-Coding DNA That May Help Regulate Telomere Length is ID'ed
JUL 26, 2021
A Region of Non-Coding DNA That May Help Regulate Telomere Length is ID'ed
Many types of cells have to be replenished continuously throughout our lives, and the genome in the nucleus of those cel ...
AUG 25, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Sino Biological's Listing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange
AUG 25, 2021
Sino Biological's Listing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange
China, August 16, 2021 - Sino Biological, Inc. (“Sino Biological” or the “Company”), a biot ...
AUG 29, 2021
Cancer
Blood Test over 90% Accurate in Detecting Lung Cancer
AUG 29, 2021
Blood Test over 90% Accurate in Detecting Lung Cancer
An AI-powered blood test was able to correctly detect the presence of lung cancer over 90% of the time in patient sample ...
Loading Comments...