Using Nanodiamonds to Deliver Chemotherapy Directly to Brain Tumors
Los Angeles, CA - Researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a new drug delivery system using nanodiamonds (NDs) that allows for direct application of chemotherapy to brain tumors with fewer harmful side effects and better cancer-killing efficiency than existing treatments.
The study was a collaboration between Dean Ho, professor, division of oral biology and medicine, division of advanced prosthodontics, and department of bioengineering and co-director of the Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology at UCLA School of Dentistry and colleagues from the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Glioblastoma is notoriously difficult to treat in part because chemotherapy drugs injected on their own often are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier, which is the system of protective blood vessels that surround the brain. Also, most drugs do not stay concentrated in the tumor tissue long enough to be effective.
The drug doxorubicin (DOX) is a common chemotherapy agent that is a promising treatment for a broad range of cancers, and served as a model drug for treatment of brain tumors when injected directly into the tumor. Ho’s team originally developed a strategy for strongly attaching DOX molecules to ND surfaces, creating a combined substance called ND-DOX.
Nanodiamonds can carry a broad range of drug compounds and prevent the ejection of drug molecules that are injected on their own by proteins found in cancer cells. Thus the ND-DOX stays in the tumor longer than DOX alone, exposing the tumor cells to the drug much longer without affecting the tissue surrounding the tumor. Continue>