Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
ADME Tox
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

Join For Free

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 4,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,300+ 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

Misfiring Drugs Hit the Wrong Targets
Anti-HIV protein inhibitor drugs can bind to the wrong protein, causing unwanted side effects.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
HIV Keeps Growing, Even When Undetectable
A team of international researchers including scientists from Oxford University has found that HIV is still replicating in lymphoid tissue even when it is undetectable in the blood of patients on antiretroviral drugs.
Friday, January 29, 2016
Bacterial Superglue for Faster Vaccine Development
An interdisciplinary team of Oxford University researchers has devised a new technique to speed up the development of novel vaccines.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Microbe Artwork Shows The Limits Of Antibiotics
An Oxford University research fellow has been creating art using bacteria found in the human gut and harvested from faecal samples.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Accelerating Drug Development
Professor Adrian Harris is currently leading a new type of trial to accelerate multi-agent drug development.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Fall in Deaths Following Withdrawal of Pain Killer
Reduction in deaths after withdrawn of pain-relief drug co-proxamol in UK.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Scientific News
Unique Visual Stimulation May Be New Treatment for Alzheimer’s
Noninvasive technique reduces beta amyloid plaques in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.
Genetics Control Regenerative Properties Of Stem Cells
Researchers define how genetic factors control regenerative properties of blood-forming stem cells.
Gene-Editing Improves Vision in Blind Rats
Scientists developed a targeted gene-replacement technique that can modify genes in both dividing and non-dividing cells in living animals.
Uncovering Cerebral Malaria’s Deadly Agents
NIH scientists film inside mouse brains to uncover biology behind the disease.
Blood-brain Barrier on a Chip
Researchers from Vanderbilt University have developed a microfluidic device to study the blood-brain barrier.
Immune-Cell Traps May Aid Cancer Metastasis
Study suggests cancer cells can induce neutrophils to release traps which the cells use to capture pathogens.
Inspiring Futuristic Innovation: Brain ‘Organoids’
Scientists create artificial brains, providing an advanced model for studying brain tumour development.
Parkinson's Disease Linked to Microbiome
Scientists have discovered a link between intestinal bacteria and Parkinson's disease.
Making Personalized Medicine a Reality
Groundbreaking technique developed at McMaster University is helping to pave the way for advances in personalized medicine.
Top 10 Life Science Innovations of 2016
2016 has seen the release of some truly innovative products. To help you digest these developments, The Scientist have listed their top picks for the year.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
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
4,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!