22 July 2019

Paste against glioblastoma

Researchers from the University of Nottingham (UK) have found that a combination of chemotherapeutic drugs during the removal of a brain tumor using a biodegradable paste leads to an increase in patient survival.

The study was conducted on rat models with a brain tumor. A combination of two drugs for chemotherapy (etoposide and temozolomide) was delivered using a biodegradable polymer PLGA/PEG (poly-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid – copolymers of lactic and glycolic acids, and polyethylene glycol – polyethylene glycol).

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive and widespread brain tumor with an average survival rate of 15 months after diagnosis. High mortality does not depend on treatment, including surgical removal, radiation and chemotherapy. GBM treatment is limited by the inability of potentially effective drugs to enter the brain through the blood-brain barrier when administered orally or intravenously.

A research team led by Dr. Ruman Rahman and Dr. Stuart Smith has discovered that PLGA/PEG can be used as a drug delivery system for chemotherapy.

The PLGA/PEG composition was originally developed for the treatment of bone fractures. The powder from the polymer mixture can be diluted with water to the consistency of toothpaste, which must be applied during surgery to the cavity in the brain left after the removal of a volumetric tumor. The paste releases chemotherapeutic drugs into the brain, affecting the remaining tumor cells that cannot be safely removed surgically and that cause relapse. The effect was enhanced when combined with radiation therapy.

An increase in survival was observed in more than half of the rats, laboratory tests confirmed that there was no tumor in their brain. Animals treated with PLGA/PEG lived longer compared to animals treated with standard treatment for GBM patients.

The authors' next step is to start a clinical trial at the Royal Medical Center in Nottingham.

Article by S. J. Smith et al. Overall Survival in Malignant Glioma Is Significantly Prolonged by the Neurosurgical Delivery of Etoposide and Temozolomide from a Thermo-Responsive Biodegradable Paste published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Aminat Adzhieva, portal "Eternal Youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on Nottingham: Biomaterial-delivered chemotherapy leads to long-term survival in brain cancer, study finds.

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