Treatment of brain tumors efficiently enough. Only 1 in 7 people are living with the disease by ten years or more and still suffer from the side effects. The difficulties stem from the fact that a brain tumor is difficult to study in the laboratory, and its complex biology constrains progress observed in the treatment of other cancers.
Aggressive brain tumors, such as glioblastoma, quickly spread throughout the brain. This means that surgery is not enough to defeat the disease, as not all cancer cells are removed.
Scientists have developed an innovative method, which, in their opinion, can improve the therapy. One of the ways in which doctors try to cope with the tumor cells following surgery, chemotherapy is sometimes with the use of temozolomide. But chemotherapy drugs targeted to any cell that is growing rapidly in the body. Therefore, it can cause serious side effects that limit the amount of drug that limits the effectiveness of treatment.
Neurosurgeon Paul Brennan and chemist Asher Unchiti-Brocheta from the Center in the heart of Edinburgh Cancer Research have figured out how to solve this problem and make more targeted chemotherapy.
Their two-pronged approach includes modification of the chemotherapeutic drug Temozolomide and administering harmless implant in the brain. The modified implant preparation and work together on the site of the tumor. When administered to a patient the drug is inactive. In fact, scientists create a "mask" to the drug moved through the body without harming healthy cells, growing until it reaches the implant - tiny beads of palladium. They are placed in the brain around the removed tumor. When a medicine is faced with the metal, it is activated in a certain place in order to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Creating a localized attack, scientists hope that the side effects from chemotherapy significantly reduced. Method are still investigating in the laboratory, so it will be some time before it will be tested on patients. The results so far have been encouraging, and the researchers plan to apply the method not only for brain tumors but also in other types of cancer. For example, radioactive implants may be used for prostate cancer, and scientists have already begun experiments on mice. While much work remains, the scientists hope that this method will be meaningful to patients.