Navigation Links
NIH award will enable design of brain tumor treatment that captures migrating cancer cells
Date:8/10/2010

The Georgia Institute of Technology has received a EUREKA grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to design a new way to treat invasive brain tumors by capturing the migrating cells that spread the disease. The EUREKA -- Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration -- program helps scientists test new, unconventional ideas or tackle major methodological or technical challenges.

The research team plans to develop a system that will excavate brain tumor cells by directing them away from their location in the interior of the brain to a more external location where they can be removed or killed. Nanofiber-based polymer thin films coated with biochemical cues will be aligned in the brain to provide a corridor for tumor cells to follow to a gel-based 'sink' where they will be captured and safely removed or encouraged to die through chemical signaling.

"We believe this is the first attempt to exploit the invasive, migrating properties of brain tumors by engineering a path for the tumors to move away from the primary site to a location where treatment can occur," said lead investigator Ravi Bellamkonda, a professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

Collaborating with Bellamkonda on this project are Tobey MacDonald, director of the pediatric neuro-oncology program at the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine; and Barun Brahma, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The initial partnership between the researchers began with seed funding from the Georgia Cancer Coalition and Ian's Friends Foundation.

The National Cancer Institute is providing more than $1 million for the EUREKA grant. For the project, Bellamkonda, MacDonald and Brahma are focusing on treating medulloblastomas -- highly malignant brain tumors that account for more than 20 percent of pediatric brain tumors.

"Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor we see in children, but unfortunately the five-year survival rates for children with this cancer only range from 50 to 70 percent and the majority of survivors have a significantly reduced quality of life as a result of treatment-related toxicities," said MacDonald, who is also a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar. "An increasing number of survivors are also at risk for developing secondary malignancies as a result of the treatment we now administer. Clearly we have to do a much better job at treating these tumors; however, improving survival while reducing the toxic effects of treatment will require a highly innovative approach."

Medulloblastoma treatment currently involves surgery followed by radiation therapy to the entire brain and spine and up to one year of intensive intravenous chemotherapy. However, radiation is often delayed or omitted altogether in young children due to its debilitating long-term side effects on the developing central nervous system.

These changes to the timing of radiation administration can adversely impact survival. And while surgery is a mainstay of treatment, it too can cause a significant loss of cognitive and neurological function due to the critical areas of the brain that may be involved by the tumor's spread but require an extensive surgical area to remove as much of the tumor as possible.

This EUREKA grant aims to address the urgent need to develop therapies to safely treat invasive medulloblastomas in children.

"Our plan is to deliver the tumor to the drug -- by directing tumor cells to a specially engineered gel that can be removed or designed to kill the cells -- rather than the current strategy of delivering the drug to the tumor, which is problematic due to the irregular vasculature and poor diffusivity of the tumor tissue," explained Bellamkonda, who is also a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar.

The researchers plan to design a polymer thin film system that will include topographical and biochemical cues similar to those that guide the initial brain tumor invasion. The thin films will be rolled up and deployed with minimally invasive catheters. Because neural tissue will not be suctioned and the films are very thin, there should be minimal tissue and tumor disruption.

The films will also be non-toxic to the patient because they will be engineered with biocompatible, stable polymers. In previous studies, the polymers have been implanted in the nervous systems of small animals for more than 16 weeks with no adverse tissue reactions.

"This research represents a radical approach to treating invasive tumors that is based on the universal properties and mechanics of cell motility and the migration characteristic of metastasis, regardless of the molecular and genetic origins of the tumor," added Bellamkonda.

If successful, this approach would identify a new and innovative way to treat pediatric medulloblastomas and has the potential to open a new avenue for the treatment of other invasive solid tumors, such as brain stem tumors. These cancers are incurable because they are located in an inoperable region and/or they are resistant or inaccessible to the delivery of chemotherapy agents.


'/>"/>

Contact: Abby Vogel Robinson
abby@innovate.gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Louisiana Tech kinesiology professor receives national editorial excellence award
2. College of Nursing awarded grant for nursing leadership in rural and underserved areas
3. Penns Positive Psychology Center awards $2.9 million for research
4. LA Tumor Registry at LSUHSC awarded $12 million SEER contract by NCI
5. AWARD Fellowship highlights critical role of African women in agricultural research
6. Major funding awarded to improve treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV co-infection
7. Doctor at Cincinnati Childrens receives prestigious NIH MERIT Award
8. $9M NIH grant renewal awarded to Case Western Reserve/UHCMC Center for AIDS Research
9. Susan G. Komen awards Case Western Reserve nearly $500,000 to study breast cancer in older women
10. Pillemer wins GSAs 2010 M. Powell Lawton Award
11. UC San Diego receives major clinical and translational science award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
NIH award will enable design of brain tumor treatment that captures migrating cancer cells
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... An inventor from Columbia, S.C., wants to ... wife’s hand was damaged in a firework accident, so she couldn’t grip a pen ... problems." , He then designed and created a prototype for the HELPEN HAND, a ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Faithfully following pop culture, people today are forever ... and shaped through fitness programs. It carries on to skin nourished, pampered and nurtured ... irresistible, radiant smile. CDA has found that just like a perfectly cut ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... ... 52, was found dead on the night of Wednesday, May 17, 2017. It can be ... rock industry would take his own life, but the extremely talented and admired singer ... role in the death of Chris Cornell . , Depression and Drug Use , ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 20, 2017 , ... ... text designs created specifically for use in Final Cut Pro X. The business-oriented ... media productions. Pixel Film Studios’ ProParagraph Corporate will deliver a professional and distinguished ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 21, 2017 , ... Florida Pain Relief Group, ... of its newest location at 109 Silver Palm Ave., Melbourne, on Monday, May 22. ... With the opening of the Melbourne practice, PPOA operates 23 pain management clinics in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2017)... , May 18, 2017  Two Bayer U.S. ... Association (HBA) during its recent 28 th ... City.  The event showcases HBA,s longstanding mission of furthering ... of healthcare. Cindy Powell-Steffen , senior ... U.S. Radiology division, and Libby Howe , a ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... ATLANTA , May 15, 2017  Amy Baxter ... the industry leader in noninvasive pain relief, was awarded ... MM&M magazine. Baxter was recognized at the MM&M ... New York City on May 10, ... helping the biopharma industry go "beyond the pill."  ...
(Date:5/12/2017)... May 12, 2017  The China and Canada ... that consumes less water, energy and detergent, and features a powerful ... LaughingU, a shoebox-sized washing machine that washes and sanitizes women,s panties ... ... is compact, and does not require an external water inlet. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: