Great discoveries do sometimes come in small packages. Few know that better than Ann-Marie Broome (at left in photo), Ph.D., who feels nanotechnology holds the future of medicine with its ability to deliver powerful drugs in tiny, designer packages. Her latest research finds the perfect application - targeting cancerous brain tumor cells. Results from her recent paper, published in the March 2016 issue of the international journal Nanomedicine - Future Medicine, found that a lipid nanocarrier engineered to be small enough to get past the blood-brain barrier could be targeted to deliver a chemotherapeutic drug more efficiently to tumor cells in the brain. The article is titled "Delivery of a Drug Cache to Glioma Cells Overexpressing Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor Using Lipid Nanocarriers.” In vivo studies showed specific uptake and increased killing in glial cells, so much so that Dr. Broome initially questioned the results. "I was very surprised by how efficiently and well it worked once we got the nanocarrier to those cells," she said, explaining that initial results were so promising that she had her team keep repeating the experiments, using different cell lines, dosage amounts, and treatment times. Researchers and clinicians are excited because it potentially points the way to a new treatment option for patients with certain conditions, such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the focus of this study. Glioblastoma multiforme is a devastating disease with no curative options due to several challenges, said Dr. Broome, who is the Director of Molecular Imaging of the Medical University of South Carolina's Center for Biomedical Imaging and Director of Small Animal Imaging of Hollings Cancer Center.
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