Researchers developed a new drug delivering nanoparticle that could fight brain cancer, according to a study conducted on May 24, 2018.
This study was conducted by the researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Glioblastoma multiforme is a type of brain tumor, which is one of the most difficult-to-treat cancers. The newly developed drug delivering nanoparticles will be an easier method for the treatment of glioblastoma. The nanoparticles, which will be carrying two drugs, are designed in such a way that it crosses the blood-brain barrier easily and binds directly to the tumor cells. Therefore, the DNA of the tumor cells are damaged by one of the drugs and the other interferes with the systems cells that are normally used to repair such damages.
The researchers had conducted a study on mice and it was found that the particles were able to shrink tumors and prevent them from growing back. Researchers say that apart from using this mechanism to get across the blood-brain barrier and target tumors very effectively, they are using it for the delivery of this unique drug combination.
The nanoparticles known as liposomes are spherical droplets that can carry one drug in their core and the other in their fatty outer shell. Researchers had to adapt the particles to treat brain tumors without affecting the healthy brain cells. After so many trials, they found that by coating the particles with a protein called as transferrin, the particles could pass through the blood-brain barrier with little difficulty. Furthermore, transferrin binds to proteins found on the surface of tumor cells, which allows the particles to accumulate directly at the tumor site.
Fred Lam, lead author of the paper said, “Our goal was to have something that could be easily translatable, by using simple, already approved synthetic components in the liposome. This was really a proof-of-concept study that we can deliver novel combination therapies using a targeted nanoparticle system across the blood-brain barrier.”