The Castro-Lowenstein lab collaborated with Joerg Lahann, Ph.D., Wolfgang Pauli Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the U-M College of Engineering, to create protein-based nanoparticles to encapsulate the inhibitor, in the hopes of helping it pass through the bloodstream. Castro also connected with Anuska V. Andjelkovic, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology and research professor of neurosurgery at Michigan Medicine, whose research focuses on the blood brain barrier. They noted that glioma tumors create abnormal blood vessels, interfering with normal blood flow.
The researchers injected AMD3100-loaded nanoparticles into mice with gliomas. The nanoparticles contained a peptide on the surface that binds to a protein found mostly on the brain tumor cells. As the nanoparticles traveled through the bloodstream toward the tumor, they released AMD3100, which restored the integrity of the blood vessels. The nanoparticles could then reach their target, where they released the drug, thus blocking the entry of the immune-suppressive myeloid cells into the tumor mass. This allowed the immune cells to kill the tumor and delay its progression. […] Among the mice whose tumors were eliminated, the researchers then reintroduced the tumor, simulating a recurrence. Without any additional therapy, 60% of mice remained cancer-free. The research has been published in the journal ACS Nano.
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