Navigation Links
Potential for non-invasive brain tumor treatment
Date:6/16/2009

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University engineers have taken a first step toward a minimally invasive treatment of brain tumors by combining chemotherapy with heat administered from the end of a catheter.

The proof-of-concept study demonstrated that it should be technically possible to treat brain tumors without the side effects associated with the traditional approaches of surgery, systemic chemotherapy or radiation.

The bioengineers designed and built an ultrasound catheter that can fit into large blood vessels of the brain and perform two essential functions: provide real-time moving 3-D images and generate localized temperature increases. The researchers envision using this system in conjunction with chemotherapy drugs encased in heat-sensitive microbubbles called liposomes.

"Physicians would inject drug-carrying liposomes into a patient's bloodstream, and then insert a catheter via a blood vessel to the site of the brain tumor," said Carl Herickhoff, fourth-year graduate student at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering and first author of a paper appearing in the journal Ultrasonic Imaging. "The catheter would use ultrasound to first image the tumor, and then direct a higher-power beam to generate heat at the site, melting the liposome shells and releasing the chemotherapy directly to the tumor.

"The temperature increase would be about four degrees Celsius enough to melt the liposome, but not enough to damage surrounding tissue," Herickhoff said. "No one has tried this approach before in the brain."

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 21,000 new brain tumor cases were diagnosed in 2008, with more than 13,000 patients dying. This represents about two percent of all cancer deaths.

The researchers said that a minimally invasive approach to treating this cancer would be preferable to the conventional methods, which have drawbacks and side effects of their own.

"Surgery is invasive, and chemotherapy that is injected or taken orally affects the whole body and has difficulty crossing the blood-brain barrier in sufficient concentrations," Herickhoff said. The blood-brain barrier restricts the passage into the brain of any foreign matter not needed by the neural tissue.

In a series of experiments in animal models and simulated tissues, the researchers demonstrated that they could build a catheter thin enough to be placed in one of the brain's main blood vessels that was capable of serving the dual purpose of visualization and heating.

"Taken as a whole, the results of these experiments, in particular the clarity of the images and ability to increase temperature with the same catheter, lead us to believe that the ultimate creation of a practical intracranial ultrasound catheter is possible," said Stephen Smith, director of the Duke University Ultrasound Transducer Group and senior member of the research team. "There are some design issues of the catheter itself that we feel can be overcome with little difficulty."

Advances in ultrasound technology have made these latest experiments possible, the researchers said, by generating detailed, 3-D moving images in real-time. The Duke laboratory has a long track record of modifying traditional 2-D ultrasound like that used to image babies in utero into the more advanced 3-D scans. After inventing the technique in 1991, the team also has shown its utility in developing specialized catheters and endoscopes for real-time imaging of tissues throughout the body.

Much of the liposome research was carried out at Duke by David Needham, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, and Mark Dewhirst, professor of radiation oncology.


'/>"/>

Contact: Richard Merritt
richard.merritt@duke.edu
919-660-8414
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Pittsburgh scientists identify human source of stem cells with potential to repair muscle
2. Neuronal conduction of excitation without action potentials based on ceramide production
3. To maximize biofuel potential, researchers look for sorghums sweet spot
4. Joslin researchers uncover potential role of leptin in diabetes
5. Chemistry turns killer gas into potential cure
6. Researchers examine worlds potential to produce biodiesel
7. New inhibitor has potential as cancer drug
8. Potential new therapeutic molecular target to fight cancer
9. WCS study finds potential to double tiger numbers in South Asia
10. Childrens Hospital studying drug with the potential to prevent/delay onset of type 1 diabetes
11. Great potential to improve collection, recycling of Europes electronic waste, says UN report
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/6/2016)... WARSAW, Ind. , Dec. 6, 2016  Zimmer Biomet ... that it has priced an offering of €500.0 million principal ... €500.0 million principal amount of its 2.425% senior unsecured notes ... is expected to occur on December 13, 2016, subject to the ... on an annual basis. ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... RALEIGH, N.C. , Dec. 6, 2016 ... technology, announced today it has seen a third consecutive ... biometric sensor technology in 2016 with a 360 ... over last year. This increase was driven by sales ... well as robust interest in its technology for hearables ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... DALLAS , Dec. 6, 2016 ... criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, ... (PEP) jointly announced today a five (5) year ... exclusive agreement to expand the rehabilitation and reentry ... PEP History Established in 2004, the Prison ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... 2016  Renova™ Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing ... other chronic diseases, announced that Catherine Bovenizer ... Financial Officer (CFO), effective today. Ms. ... experience in financial management for a variety of ... Most recently, Ms. Bovenizer was the Vice President ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Dec. 5, 2016 NxGen MDx announced today that it brought ... in house, we,ve been able to improve customer service through shortened turnaround ... Alan Mack , CEO of NxGen MDx. ... , , A decrease in ... led to more job opportunities at the Grand Rapid headquarters. ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... - Technologies, Markets and Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... of human genome variations, development of sequencing technologies, and their ... as companies developing them. Various applications of sequencing are described ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... A ... small businesses in federally funded research and development is welcome news for the ... and photonics . , As part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: