Researchers at Johns Hopkins may be one step closer to treating brain related illnesses, such as cancer. After a tumor is removed from the brain, the second source of treatment is chemotherapy. However, due to the strength of the drug, it is hard to administer without damaging any other cells. Researchers have found that a molecule called poly(ethylene glycol), PEG, helps the medication to distribute more effectively. They are also delivering the drug over a longer period of time and in smaller doses. This helps dispense the medication to deeper parts of the brain, without any cell obstruction.
It's really exciting that we now have particles that can carry five times more drug, release it for three times as long and penetrate farther into the brain than before," says Elizabeth Nance, a graduate student in chemical and biomolecular engineering at Hopkins. The next step is to see if we can slow tumor growth or recurrence in rodents. This could open the doors to treating many other brain diseases such as MS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
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