While there are fairly effective medications that can kill brain tumors, getting them to their targets is so challenging that they’re often next to useless for cancers of the brain. Japanese scientists from Kawasaki Institute of Industrial Promotion, The University of Tokyo, and Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a shell for epirubicin, a common chemotherapy agent, that helps it to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach a tumor significantly more effectively than before.
The researchers surrounded micelles containing epirubicin with cyclic Arg-Gly-Asp (cRGD) peptides. The cRGD peptides play a role in attaching to cell membranes, specifically to gliobastoma multiforme (GBM) cancer cells. Because this targeting effect is so pronounced, it helps the new combination nanoparticles to penetrate through the blood-brain barrier and reach the tumors.
In a study on laboratory mice, the researchers managed to deliver epirubicin deeper into GBM tumors than when the medication was delivered without attaching the cRGD peptides.
This research certainly brings new hope that brain tumors will be more easily treated and that the brain and its diseases in general will have more available therapies.
Study in Journal of Controlled Release: cRGD peptide-installed epirubicin-loaded polymeric micelles for effective targeted therapy against brain tumors…