An anti-cancer gel promises to wipe out glioblastoma permanently, a feat that’s never been accomplished by any drug or surgery. So what makes this gel so special?
Scientists at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) have developed a novel gel that both eliminates brain cancer (glioblastoma) and keeps it from recurring. When they tested this anti-cancer gel on mice with glioblastoma, surprisingly, all the mouse models were cured of the illness.
“We don’t usually see 100% survival in mouse models of this disease,” said Betty Tyler, one of the study authors and a neurosurgery professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
A report from the National Tumor Society reveals that every year over 10,000 people die of glioblastoma in the US, making it one of the deadliest cancer types.
The JHU team claims that their gel is arguably the most effective glioblastoma treatment yet developed. Since it can stop tumor growth even in parts of the brain where traditional anti-cancer medications and surgeries don’t work.
What makes the gel so effective against brain cancer?
Currently, an FDA-approved brain implant called Gliadel is considered the most popular and potent glioblastoma treatment application. Professor Tyler who played an important role in the development of Gliadel in the 1990s suggests that during the mice trials, the new gel delivered results that are even more impressive than what is achieved with Gliadel.
This is probably because the gel-based treatment features characteristics of both chemotherapy and immunotherapy. It was developed by combining an anti-cancer drug called paclitaxel with an antibody named aCD47.
The former is a chemotherapy medication used in the treatment of ovarian, lung, and breast cancer, and the latter attacks macrophages (cells that promote tumor growth by protecting cancer cells).