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New hydrogel keeps brain cancer at bay

New hydrogel keeps brain cancer at bay

A group of researchers has developed a hydrogel that prevents the recurrence of glioblastoma cancer, one of the most deadly forms of cancer.

Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastomaIt is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer, and with it tendency to return Often after surgery to remove it.

New study published In Science Translational Medicine this month, he reveals a new way to prevent cancer from returning.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Madison have now developed a Immune boosting hydrogel Which can be injected into the brain after surgery to remove any remaining cancer stem cells.

to me New Atlassurvival rates for glioblastoma are among the lowest, with less than 5% of patients To survive five years after diagnosis.

This is largely due to the fact that this brain cancer tends to Coming back after surgical removal From the tumor where the glioblastoma stem cells are left behind and form new tumors.

“One of the features of glioblastoma is that the cancer cells are very aggressive, infiltrating the surrounding tissues,” he explains. Quinine isthe corresponding author of the study.

“So the surgeon can’t clearly feel the boundary between the tumor and normal tissue, and you can’t remove as much as possible because all the tissue in the brain is so important – you definitely don’t want to remove too much.”

But a new treatment could change this situation. Researchers have now developed a file Hydrogel loaded with drugs It can be injected after the operation into the space left after the tumor is removed.

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At this point, the immune system begins to work to “capture” any remaining glioma stem cells.

Hydrogel contains Nanoparticles that can reprogram immune cells calls macrophages, which floods the site after surgery. Frustratingly, this tumor environment can cause macrophages to switch sides, helping to promote cancer growth and suppress the immune response.

The gel counteracts this effect with nanoparticles that create macrophages to target CD133a protein expressed in cancer stem cells.

These unruly cancer cells try to hide, transmitting a signal telling the immune system not to consume them. Thus, the hydrogel also contains an antibody, CD47which blocks this signal.

In tests on mice, the team showed that the hydrogel can successfully generate macrophage receptors of chimeric antigens (CAR) that specifically target glioma stem cells, and that brain cancer did not return during the 6-month controlled period after surgery.

The team says that while the hydrogel still needs to be tested in larger animals before it can be used in humans The search is promising.

The product can be adapted to help treat other solid tumors such as breast cancer as well.

Ines Costa Macedo, ZAP //