Nanoparticle Technology Outsmarts The Brain Cancer Mechanism
Nanoparticles and inhibitors are found to break the shield that brain tumors (like gliomas) build against the immune response by overcoming the blood-brain barrier as per a study in mouse models at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, published in the journal ACS Nano.
Gliomas are aggressive brain tumors that are often resistant to traditional therapies, by suppressing the immune system and rendering new immune-based therapies ineffective.
‘New nanoparticle approach helps outsmart the defense mechanism of brain cancer by triggering the immune system.
The presence of the blood-brain barrier (the physiological barrier between the brain and its blood vessels) further adds to the challenge to deliver effective treatments to these tumors.
Can Your Treat Gliomas?
The team identified a small molecule (AMD3100) that blocked a key pathway in brain tumors (action of CXCR12, a cytokine released by the glioma cells) and further fabricated a nanoparticle (that contained the inhibitor) to cross the blood-brain barrier (the physiological barrier between the brain and its blood vessels) for its efficacy.
The drug successfully turned on the immune system to eliminate cancer, but the process triggered immune memory so that a reintroduced tumor was also eliminateda sign that this potential new approach could not only treat brain tumors but prevent or delay recurrences.
Hence, the study showed that AMD3100 successfully helped prevent CXCR12 from binding with immune-suppressive myeloid cells.
Breakthrough Treatment for Brain Tumors
“No one could get this molecule into the brain. It’s really a huge milestone. Outcomes for patients with glioma have not improved for the last 30 years,” says Maria G. Castro, Michigan Medicine.
Further studies in mice and patient cell lines demonstrated that coupling the AMD3100 nanoparticle with radiation therapy enhanced the effect beyond either the nanoparticle or radiation alone.
The team recommends additional safety testing that is necessary before moving to a clinical trial.