New method for the penetration of anti-cancer drugs into the brain

A new method that uses focused ultrasound to increase the penetration of anti-cancer drugs into metatarsies in the brain has been developed by a scientific group in the US. The focused ultrasound method, which has already been successfully tested in experimental animals and is in the first phase of clinical studies, penetrates the brain defense shields, which prevent many drugs from reaching cancer cells and exterminating malignant tumors.

This is the first time that the mechanisms behind the use of focused ultrasound are analyzed. The treatment is minimally invasive, focusing multiple ultrasound energy bundles at the exact point where the tumor is located. Lipid microbubbles administered intravenously to the bloodstream are vibrating in response to ultrasound, thus temporarily violating the blood-brain barrier in the targeting region.

In this way, an opening is created in the vessels, which can penetrate the drugs. The research team studied the new method in mice with HER2 positive breast cancer metastases. In laboratory experiments, researchers found that significantly improved administration and penetration of cerebral metastases of two anticancer therapies, the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin and an antibody-drug conjugate (trastuzumab-DM1, T-DM1) were achieved.

Researchers used sophisticated microscopes to determine changes in drug delivery properties at cellular and tissue level. They also used mathematical models to determine the parameters that affect the administration and transfer of drugs to brain tumors.