Researchers from the US have utilised a new way to deliver specific drugs to Glioblastomas, avoiding the usual issues of surpassing the blood brain barrier. This method could be used in following studies, for different drugs.
What are the findings?
The team, led by Dr Eleonora F Spinazzi, utilised a method called chronic convection-enhanced delivery (CED), which is defined by NHS England as:
“a method of administering medicines directly into the brain through a delivery system consisting of small tubes, called catheters, connected to a set of pumps through a metal access port fixed to the skull.”
In the past, use of this method has been limited by the toxicity it can cause, as well as the difficulty of penetrating the correct regions of the skull. Despite this, the team attempted to utilise this method for a cohort of 5 GBM patients, using the drug ‘Topotecan’.
Despite being toxic the glioma cells, Topotecan has seen little clinical usage because the limited ways we can deliver it to the tumour site make it generally ineffective.
Across all patients, the drug and delivery method was generally well tolerated and ‘without substantial complications’. Some negative effects were linked mainly to difficulty with surgery, and not the treatment itself. The drug significantly reduced the number of tumour cells across the whole cohort.
This study only included a cohort of 5 patients, and so in the future there is precedent to run a larger trial. Additionally, this team were able to show the safety of both the CED method of drug delivery, as well as the drug itself. This opens doors for other trials of different treatments.
To read the results in full, click here.
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