Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Brain-Penetrating Particle Attacks Deadly Tumors

Published: Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have shown that a new approach extends the lives of laboratory animals and are preparing to seek government approval for a human clinical trial.

“We wanted to make a system that would penetrate into the brain and deliver drugs to a greater volume of tissue,” said Mark Saltzman, a biomedical engineer at Yale and principal investigator of the research. “Drugs have to get to tumor cells in order to work, and they have to be the right drugs.”

Results were published July 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Glioblastoma multiforme is a malignant cancer originating in the brain. Median survival with standard care — surgery plus chemotherapy plus radiation — is just over a year, and the five-year survival rate is less than 10 percent.

Current methods of drug delivery have serious limitations. Oral and intravenously injected drugs have difficulty accessing the brain because of a biological defense known as the blood-brain barrier. Drugs released directly in the brain through implants can’t reach migrating tumor cells. And commonly used drugs fail to kill the cells primarily responsible for tumor development, allowing regrowth.

The researchers developed a new, ultra-small drug-delivery particle that more nimbly navigates brain tissue than do existing options. They also identified and tested an existing FDA-approved drug — a fungicide called dithiazanine iodide (DI) — and found that it can kill the most aggressive tumor-causing cells.

“This approach addresses limitations of other forms of therapy by delivering drugs directly to the area most needed, obviating systemic side-effects, and permitting the drug to reside for weeks,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph M. Piepmeier, a member of the research team. Piepmeier leads clinical research for Yale Cancer Center’s brain tumor program.

The drug-loaded nanoparticles are administered in fluid directly to the brain through a catheter, bypassing the blood-brain barrier. The particles’ tiny size — their diameter is about 70 nanometers — facilitates movement within brain tissue. They release their drug load gradually, offering sustained treatment.

In tests on laboratory rats with human brain cancers, DI-loaded nanoparticles significantly increased median survival to 280 days, researchers report. Maximum median survival time for rats treated with other therapies was 180 days, and with no treatment, survival was 147 days. Tests on pigs established that the new drug-particle combination also diffuses deep into brains of large animals.

The nanoparticles are made of polymers, or strings of repeating molecules. Their size, ability to control release, and means of application help them permeate brain tissues.

Researchers screened more than 2,000 FDA-approved drugs in the hunt for candidates that would kill the cells most responsible for human tumor development, brain cancer stem cells. Overall, DI worked best.

The scientists believe the particles can be adapted to deliver other drugs and to treat other central nervous system diseases, they said.

The paper is titled “Highly penetrative, drug-loaded nanocarriers improve treatment of glioblastoma.”
Jiangbing Zhou, assistant professor of neurosurgery and of biomedical engineering at Yale, and Toral Patel, chief resident in neurosurgery at Yale, are co-lead authors. The published paper includes a full list of co-authors.

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 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ 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 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

Novel Technique for Kidney Research Developed
To better understand how the treatment leads to kidney damage, and possibly prevent it, a team of researchers at Yale School of Medicine developed a new 3D-imaging technique to peer deep into these vital organs.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Shedding Light On Century-Old Biochemical Mystery
Yale scientists have used magnetic resonance measurements to show how glucose is metabolized in yeast to answer the puzzle of the “Warburg Effect.”
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Gene Testing Now Allows Precision Medicine for Thoracic Aneurysms
Researchers at the Aortic Institute at Yale have tested the genomes of more than 100 patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms, a potentially lethal condition, and provided genetically personalized care.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Creating More Potent Vaccines
Yale researchers uncovered a new role for a type of immune cell, known as regulatory T cells, in promoting long-term immunity.
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
Yale Team finds why BRCA Gene Resists Cancer Treatment
The University researchers have discovered why a key molecular assistant is crucial to the function of the BRCA2 gene.
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
New Type of Drug Can Target All Disease-causing Proteins
Current drugs block the actions of only about a quarter of known disease-causing proteins, but Yale University researchers have developed a technology capable of not just inhibiting, but destroying every protein it targets.
Monday, June 15, 2015
After a Sip of Milkshake, Genes and Brain Activity Predict Weight Gain
The new study published in The Journal Neuroscience.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Researchers Solve Multiple Sclerosis Puzzle
Yale study shows the role that T cells play in MS.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Gene Editing Corrects Mutation In Cystic Fibrosis
Yale researchers successfully corrected the most common mutation in the gene that causes cystic fibrosis, a lethal genetic disorder.
Monday, April 27, 2015
New Tool To Explore Mysteries Of The Immune System
Yale scientists use CyTOF to study a range of conditions.
Monday, April 20, 2015
A Faster, Less Expensive Way To Analyze Gene Activity
Yale researchers have devised a method that could reduce the time and cost of analyzing gene activity.
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Li Ka Shing Foundation Renews Support for Yale Stem Cell Center
New generous grant of $1.86 million from LKSF to support education and healthcare initiatives.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Single-Cell, 42-plexed Protein Analysis Achieved with a New Microchip Technology
A novel microdevice capable of detecting 42 unique immune effector proteins has been developed.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Yale Team Identifies Key Process In Brain Development
miR-107 shown to play essential role in regulating normal brain development.
Friday, February 06, 2015
Cold Virus Replicates Better At Cooler Temperatures
Study shows that the immune response to rhinovirus is influenced by temperature.
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
How a Genetic Locus Protects Adult Blood-Forming Stem Cells
Mammalian imprinted Gtl2 protects adult hematopoietic stem cells by restricting metabolic activity in the cells' mitochondria.
Genetic Basis of Fatal Flu Side Effect Discovered
A group of people with fatal H1N1 flu died after their viral infections triggered a deadly hyperinflammatory disorder in susceptible individuals with gene mutations linked to the overactive immune response, according to a recent study.
New Tech Vastly Improves CRISPR/Cas9 Accuracy
A new CRISPR/Cas9 technology developed by scientists at UMass Medical School is precise enough to surgically edit DNA at nearly any genomic location, while avoiding potentially harmful off-target changes typically seen in standard CRISPR gene editing techniques.
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
"Good" Mozzie Virus Might Hold Key to Fighting Human Disease
Australian scientists have discovered a new virus carried by one of the country’s most common pest mosquitoes.
Non-Disease Proteins Kill Brain Cells
Scientists at the forefront of cutting-edge research into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s have shown that the mere presence of protein aggregates may be as important as their form and identity in inducing cell death in brain tissue.
Closing the Loop on an HIV Escape Mechanism
Research team finds that protein motions regulate virus infectivity.
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Potential Treatment for Life-Threatening Viral Infections Revealed
The findings point to new therapies for Dengue, West Nile and Ebola.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

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
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos