Brain Tumor Cells Penetrated by Tiny, Biodegradable Particles Carrying Genetic Instructions

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Charles S. Cobbs, MD

The Gregory Foltz, MD Endowed Director
Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for
Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment
Swedish Neuroscience Specialists

 

Today we will touch upon a report out of Johns Hopkins that was published at the Journal of the American Chemical Society.  The title of the publication is Biodegradable Polymeric  Nanoparticles Show High Efficacy and Specificity at DNA Delivery to Human Glioblastoma In Vitro and  In Vivo.  http://www.mdtmag.com/news/2014/04/brain-tumor-cells-penetrated-tiny-biodegradable-particles-carrying-genetic-instructions  The authors describe a treatment in which “biodegradable poly(beta-amino ester)” particles, containing DNA, are labeled with a molecule that binds to glioblastoma cancer stem cells, which are thought to be the critical cells and the origin of glioblastoma. These small nano particles, if they can hone in on these glioblastoma cancer stem cells, can then deliver toxic  DNA materials. The authors grew primary human glioblastoma cells in a dish in spheres and they found that the particles could attack over 60% of these cells in these spheres. These particles appeared to have the ability to attack cancer stem cells from glioblastoma at a much higher rate than normal human stem cells in the brain. When they injected these particles directly into the brain tumors of mice that had been implanted with a human glioblastoma, they were able to show that the DNA  expressed by these lipid encapsulated DNA nano particles did get expressed in the tumor cells. This work shows theoretically that nano particles which might be able to penetrate into brain tumors and possibly cross the blood-brain barrier can be designed to hone in on the most aggressive and important of the glioblastoma cells, which are the tumor initiating cells or the glioblastoma cancer stem cells. Should this technology develop to the point where these nanoparticles could be infused into the tumor environment either by convection enhanced delivery (CED) into the brain or even potentially by intravenous (IV) delivery, this might lead to a way of delivering genetic material specifically to the dangerous cancer stem cells.  I would caution that this study is extraordinarily preliminary in terms of the possibility that this technology could be applied to any human glioblastoma patient. I suspect there is at least a 5-10 year development prior to this becoming a therapeutic option in these patients and entering clinical trials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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