New drug discovered that could prevent the spread of glioblastoma cells

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Researchers have discovered a new drug could potentially halt the spread of glioblastoma cells

Human beings are made up of fluids, with water accounting for approximately 50-65% of body mass. This fluid is important for normal functioning of the body.

Interstitial fluid is fluid that surrounds the cells in the body. Previous research has found that individuals with glioblastoma, a highly lethal form of brain cancer, have increased pressure in their interstitial fluid due to increased volume of this fluid.

The increased pressure in this fluid causes the fluid to move faster, which acts like a river and carriers cells away from the tumour, encouraging tumour's spread.

A research team at Virginia Tech in the United States, led by Dr Jennifer Munson, may have found a solution to prevent the spread of glioblastoma cells.

The study, published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, outlines the use of an experimental drug, called AMD3100 to block the way cancer cells respond to fluid flow. AMD3100 inhibits the cancer cells' response to signals that encourage the tumour cells to spread.

Using pre-clinical models the researchers delivered the drug directly into the brain using a relatively new technique called Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED). CED has a lot of promise because it bypasses the blood brain barrier.

"Glioblastomas are deadly, and there hasn't been a shift in treatment response in decades. Something needs to change," said Dr Munson. "With my expertise and looking at fluid flow, maybe there's an answer there that we haven't seen."

With over 2,200 people being diagnosed with a glioblastoma every year in the UK, innovating ways to treat this devastating disease are essential.

This finding is significant as this drug could prevent the spread of glioblastomas. However, it is important to note that these are early findings and further investigation is needed.

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