There are new possibilities of the treatment for the brain cancer – The surgeons at the School of Medicine in the Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Florida, both in the country of the United States of America, conducted a procedure that allowed them to open the protective layer of the brain and supply it by using a laser probe the drugs of chemotherapy for the patients with mortal brain cancer.
The study represents an extremely important advance, since to date the treatments against this cancer could not pass this protection. Having to limit the actions of the chemicals in the patients with this disease.
The pilot study was conducted in 14 (fourteen) test patients with the most common brain cancer, Glioblastoma, who underwent the laser surgery area to act the recurrence of their tumors.The heat of the laser works by removing the tumor cells from the brain, but in this case also acted penetrating the brain barrier, the protective layer of the brain.
“Laser treatment keeps the brain barrier open for six weeks, which provides a therapeutic window of opportunity to deliver chemotherapy drugs to patients ” explains co-author Eric C. Leuthardt, professor of Neurosurgery University of Washington.
According to researchers, early results showed a clear evolution of the condition of patients.However, they said it was necessary to evaluate more patients to obtain conclusive results.
This type of cancer is known as Glioblastomas is among the most difficult to treat, with a survival in most of the patients diagnosed with this type of brain tumor in just 15 (fifteen) months, according to the American Cancer Society.The new research, published in the online edition of Wednesday of the journal Plos One, is part of a larger clinical trial of phase II that will involve 40 (forty) patients.A total of 20 (twenty) patients were included in the pilot study, 14 (fourteen) of which were found to be good candidates for the minimally invasive laser surgery.
This technology was validated by the American agency (FDA) in the year of 2009 as a suitable tool for treating the brain tumors.But the new research shows that the laser alters the brain barrier that protects the brain from the harmful toxins and also blocks the potentially useful drugs, such as the chemotherapy.
As part of the test, it was administered intravenously a widely used chemotherapeutic agent –doxorrubicina – 13 (thirteen) patients in the following weeks to laser surgery.Preliminary the data showed that 12 (twelve) patients showed no evidence of the tumor progression over a period of ten (10) weeks, the time of the study.One patient experienced the tumor growth before it was applied the chemotherapy and another patient developed tumor after the chemotherapy.
Whether the laser treatment is not an invasive procedure and has no major difficulties in implementing it. The process is carried out while the patient is in a MRI scanner, providing for the neurosurgical team a real time tumor and through an incision of only 3 (three) neurosurgeon mm robotically insert the laser to the heat and destroy the tumor cells in the brain at a temperature of about 65 (sixty five) degrees.
“But surprisingly, while we reviewed MRI of our patients, we observed changes near the former site of the tumor that seemed consistent with the breakdown of the blood brain barrier, ” adds the expert, further confirming these imaging findings with coauthor Joshua Shimony, the associate professor of radiology at the University of Washington.
The researchers, including the co author David Tran, a neuro oncologist who is now at the University of Florida, conducted the follow up tests that showed the degree of the permeability through the blood brain barrier that peaked between one (1) to two (2) weeks after surgery, but the barrier remained open until six (6) weeks.
Other successful attempts to cross the blood brain barrier have left open only for a short period, about 24 (twenty four) hours, insufficient to provide consistently a chemotherapy, or have led to modest gains time. In contrast, the laser technology makes it possible to open the barrier for a week, enough for the patients to receive multiple treatments with the chemotherapy time. The laser only opens the barrier near the tumor, leaving the protective cover in place in other areas of the brain. This advantage has the potential to limit the harmful effects of the chemotherapy drugs in other areas of the brain, researchers say.
The findings encouraged to look for other interesting methods in the treating of this type of cancer, such as the cancer immunotherapy, which uses the cells of the immune system to seek and destroy the cancer. The scientists are considering conducting other clinical trials combining the laser technology with the chemotherapy and the immunotherapy, as well as the trials to test the drugs that target the cancer that cannot normally cross the blood brain barrier.