Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
RNAi
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Scientists Break Blood-Brain Barrier to Allow Cancer Drugs In

Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Oxford University scientists have found a way of delivering drugs more effectively to treat life-threatening cancers that have spread to the brain.

The study, in mice and tissue samples, used a protein called TNF that can track down sites in the brain where cancer has spread by recognising a marker found only on tumour blood vessels.

The researchers found that TNF can home in on these sites and temporarily open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) allowing drugs to pass from the blood system into the tumour.

The BBB acts as a shield that prevents potentially dangerous particles such as bacteria entering the brain. But it's this same shield that stops cancer drugs reaching tumours that have spread to the brain.

The TNF protein only broke down the BBB in the blood vessels that pass through the tumour, leaving the healthy parts of the brain undamaged by potentially toxic drugs.

The research showed that when TNF is injected into the bloodstream, the breast cancer drug herceptin (trastuzumab) – which is not normally able to cross the BBB – can reach cancer cells in the brain.

The research is reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr Nicola Sibson of the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford said: 'Treatments that work very well against the original site of the cancer lose their effectiveness when the cancer spreads to the brain – as these drugs are prevented from getting to the tumour because of the blood-brain barrier.

'A number of attempts have been made to open up the BBB but they've all struggled because they're either not specific enough to open the BBB only at the site of the tumour or not effective enough to allow the drug across to kill the cancer.'

Dr Kat Arney, science information manager at Cancer Research UK, which funded the work, said: 'Getting treatments through the blood-brain barrier remains one of the greatest challenges for cancer researchers. This exciting result points the way to a potentially game-changing moment in finding ways to treat cancers that have spread to the brain. We now need to test this approach in cancer patients to see if it will have the same effect.'


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Investment In Cancer Research At Oxford University
Centre for Molecular Medicine to focus on cancer genomics and molecular diagnostics, through a partnership with the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Genetic Tracking Identifies Cancer Stem Cells in Patients
The gene mutations driving cancer have been tracked for the first time in patients back to a distinct set of cells at the root of cancer – cancer stem cells.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Eating Organic Food Doesn't Lower Overall Cancer Risk
Women who always or mostly eat organic foods have the same likelihood of developing cancer as women who eat conventionally produced foods.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
New Trial of Personalized Cancer Treatment Begins in Oxford
Phase I trial in Oxford will investigate a new drug, called CXD101.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
'Jekyll and Hyde' Protein Offers New Route to Cancer Drugs
The mood changes of a 'Jekyll-and-Hyde' protein, which sometimes boosts tumour cell growth and at other times suppresses it, have been explained.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Sex Hormones Linked to Breast Cancer Risk in Women Under 50
Premenopausal women with high levels of sex hormones in their blood have an increased risk of breast cancer, though further research is needed to understand this link.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
One-two Combination Floors Cancer
A new tag-team approach to combating a type of skin cancer is showing early promise in the lab.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
46 Gene Sequencing Test for Cancer Patients on the NHS
The first multi-gene test that can help predict cancer patients' responses to treatment using the latest DNA sequencing techniques has been launched in the NHS.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Rare Genetic Faults Identified in Families with Bowel Cancer
The findings are published in the journal Nature Genetics.
Friday, January 04, 2013
Genetic Cause of Insulin Sensitivity Offers Diabetes Clues
The first single gene cause of increased sensitivity to the hormone insulin has been discovered by a team of Oxford University researchers.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Probing What Fuels Cancer
Cancer is often described as a genetic disease, after all the transition a cell goes through in becoming cancerous tends to be driven by changes to the cell's DNA.
Monday, August 06, 2012
Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Utilization of Circulating Biomarkers for Minimally Invasive Diagnostics Development
Market Trends in Biofluid-based Liquid Biopsies: Deploying Circulating Biomarkers in the Clinic. Enal Razvi, Ph.D., Managing Director, Select Biosciences, Inc.
Watching a Tumour Grow in Real-Time
Researchers from the University of Freiburg have gained new insight into the phases of breast cancer growth.
Childhood Cancer Cells Drain Immune System’s Batteries
Cancer cells in neuroblastoma contain a molecule that breaks down a key energy source for the body’s immune cells, leaving them too physically drained to fight the disease.
Urine Proteins Point to Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer
A combination of three proteins found at high levels in urine can accurately detect early-stage pancreatic cancer, researchers at the BCI have shown.
Researcher Discovers Trigger of Deadly Melanoma
New research sheds light on the precise trigger that causes melanoma cancer cells to transform from non-invasive cells to invasive killer agents, pinpointing the precise place in the process where "traveling" cancer turns lethal.
Self-Assembling, Biomimetic Membranes May Aid Water Filtration
A synthetic membrane that self assembles and is easily produced may lead to better gas separation, water purification, drug delivery and DNA recognition, according to an international team of researchers.
Error Correction Mechanism in Cell Division
Cell biologists have reported an advance in understanding the workings of an error correction mechanism that helps cells detect and correct mistakes in cell division early enough to prevent chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy, that is, having too many or too few chromosomes.
Researchers Resurrect Ancient Viruses
Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Schepens Eye Research Institute have reconstructed an ancient virus that is highly effective at delivering gene therapies to the liver, muscle, and retina.
Cell Aging Slowed by Putting Brakes on Noisy Transcription
Experiments in yeast hint at ways to extend life of some human cells.
Crucial for Stem Cell Survival Protein Identified Using Editing Tool CRISPR
A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has identified a protein that is integral to the survival and self-renewal processes of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC).
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!