Radiation continues to be an effective method for treating glioblastoma brain tumors. Targeted treatments like the Gamma and Cyber Knife are amazing advancement. But the issue remains that radiation must pass through healthy brain tissue to reach the tumor, and patients can only tolerate small amounts before developing serious side effects.
A group of researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have developed a way to deliver nanoparticle radiation directly to the brain tumor and keep it there. The method doses the tumor itself with much higher levels of radiation — 20 to 30 times the current dose of radiation therapy to patients — but spares a much greater area of brain tissue.
The study, published today in the journal Neuro-Oncology (“Rhenium-186 liposomes as convection-enhanced nanoparticle brachytherapy for treatment of glioblastoma”), has been successful enough in laboratory experiments that they’re preparing to start a clinical trial at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center, said Andrew Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s corresponding author and a neuro-oncologist at the CTRC who will lead the clinical trial.
“We saw that we could deliver much higher doses of radiation in animal models,” Dr. Brenner said. “We were able to give it safely and we were able to completely eradicate tumors.”
Efforts are under way to launch the clinical trial by summer 2012.
Brain cancer waits for no one and new technologies like nano particle radiation must be offered to patients seeking advanced treatment options as quickly and safely as possible. We’ll continue to bring you more news on this new tool.