Nanotechnology Can Be A Powerful Treatment For Brain Tumors, Study Says

First Posted: May 25, 2016 04:22 AM EDT

Researchers have discovered that nanotechnology can hold the future of medicine with its capability to deliver powerful chemotherapeutic drugs in small packages.

Science Daily reports that study was published in the international journal Nanomedicine. The results of the study showed that a lipid nanocarrier engineered to be tiny to get past the blood-brain barrier could deliver a chemotherapeutic drug specifically the cancerous brain tumor cells.

Anne Marie Broome, Ph.D., the director of Molecular Imaging of the Medical University of South Carolina's Center for Biomedical Imaging and one of the authors of the study said that she was very surprised by how proficiently and well it worked once they got the nanocarrier to those cells. She explained that the initial results were so promising that she had her colleagues keep repeating the experiments using various cell lines, dosage amounts and treatment times. The researchers and clinicians are overwhelmed because it paves a way to new treatment options for patients who are diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

Glioblastoma multiforme is a malignant primary brain tumor and a devastating disease. The tumors penetrate and surround the brain tissue. The GBM is comprised of star-shaped glial cells also termed as astrocytes. The glioma is any type of brain tumor like astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma that ascend from glial cells. The brain tumor involves difficulty of surgical treatment because of its location and there is an inability to get drugs enters into the blood-brain barrier, which is a protective barrier that can keep a stable environment within and surrounding the brain.

The Broome's research and her nanotechnology would then be beneficial into this difficulty. She and her team engineered a micelle, which is a phospholipid nanocarrier. It delivers concentrated dose of the chemotherapy drug temozolomide (TMZ) to the GBM tumor cells.

Broome explained that micelles of a certain size will cross the blood-brain barrier transporting a concentrated amount of TMZ. She added that the PDGF is used much like a postal address, wherein micelle gets it to the street and the PDGF gets it to the house.

She further explained that it is thought that satellite cells left behind after surgical removal are the fastest growing and most harmful ones. They are trying to kill those rapidly growing satellite cells that will grow into new tumors in that location or others. She concluded that the possibilities of nanotherapeutics are endless and bright.


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