Israeli researchers have developed an innovative nanotechnology which could provide doctors with a new way to treat or even cure glioblastoma multiforme.
Glioblastoma multiforme is the worst form of brain cancer. It is considered largely incurable by doctors. Patients diagnosed with glioblatoma multiforme general die within a year and half of being diagnosed with the tumors. It is so devastating that that National Academy of Sciences calls it “the Terminator.”
This technique has proven itself in the past. It is based on the “cancer bullet” system that delivers chemotherapy directly to cancer cells using bioadhesive liposomes, consisting of regular liposomes reduced to nano-sized particles that attach themselves to the cancerous cells.
The cancer bullet system research was done on ovarian cancer tumors and it proved effective.
In several glioma clinical trials over the last decade, new treatments were delivered surgically into gliomas or into the surrounding tissues following tumor removal.
Unfortunately, gene therapy, bacterial toxin therapy, and high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy all failed as a viable approach to treat malignant brain tumors. This new nanomedicine and molecular biology could tackle brain cancer.
Following a similar method used to target ovarian cancer cells, researchers delivered the material directly to the tumor site using lipid-based nanoparticles coated with the polysugar hyaluronan. The polysugar hyaluronan then binds to a receptor expressed specifically on glioma cells, comparing the results with a control group that was treated with standard chemotherapy methods.
Researchers assert that the results were astonishing; the lives of the test group were extended significantly compared to the control group.
One hundred days following the treatment of four injections over 30 days, 60% of the afflicted mice were still alive. The control mice died 30-34.5 days into treatment.
This is a proof of concept study which hopefully can be translated into a novel clinical modality. Although in its early stages, reports reveal the data is very promising.