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Harnessing the power of tumour enzymes to activate drugs

Fast facts

  • Official title: Development of a Novel Tumour-Targeting Thermogel activated by Matrix Metalloproteinases
  • Lead researcher: Dr Jason Gill
  • Where: Newcastle University
  • When: November 2017 - January 2019
  • Cost: £75,022
  • Research type: Adult, Glioblastoma (High Grade), Academic

Getting chemotherapy drugs to brain tumours is extremely difficult because of the blood brain barrier.

This research led by Dr Gill aims to overcome this challenge by developing a new chemotherapy drug that can be directly injected into the cavity left after surgery using a chemical known as a thermogel.

This project is particularly novel in that the drug is being specifically designed so that it is activated by enzymes normally released by glioblastoma tumours, called proteases.

By combining the drug with an appropriate drug-delivery technology, this research project could present as a viable new approach for the treatment of brain tumours, potentially overcoming the possibility of tumour re-growth.

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Research is the only way we will discover kinder, more effective treatments and, ultimately, stamp out brain tumours – for good! However, brain tumours are complex and research in to them takes a great deal of time and money.

Across the UK, over 100,000 families are facing the overwhelming diagnosis of a brain tumour and it is only through the generosity of people like you can we continue to help them.

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