What Will It Take to Bring Glioblastoma Research to the Forefront?
Dr. Loralyn Mears is the Director of Scientific Communications for Global Cancer Technology, and she shared her insights about glioblastoma.
“Many people have heard of it, especially in light of President Biden now in the office and the loss of his first born son, Beau Biden, six years ago from this dreaded disease.
[However], it’s not getting the level of attention and support that other cancers do with respect to research, innovation and investment dollars. Why is that?
Well, glioblastoma is a tortuously difficult disease to treat for a number of reasons. First, it’s very difficult to cross the blood brain barrier. That means you have to have drug particles that are so small that they can be transmitted so that they can be effective in their targeted area in the brain.
The second reason why is that the brain is difficult to treat. Will you need it? Well, you may have two lungs and you may be able to remove bits and pieces, but it’s very challenging to remove parts of your brain. It’s all 100% necessary in order to have normal cognitive function.
And the third reason why glioblastoma is very difficult to treat is that it’s an extremely aggressive form of cancer. Fewer than 25% of people survive longer than one year after diagnosis.
So, what can be done? Well, Global Cancer Technology has some new ways of being able to look at this. There is this concept called invisible dots. These are nanoparticles smaller than the naked eye can see, but they can be used as carriers so that, when these carriers are loaded with a payload, which is a cancer inhibitor, for example, they can be directed across the blood brain barrier and attain access to the brain target without compromising the whole function of the brain.
Now, the research is in the early stages, but the bottom line for all of those people and their families affected by glioblastoma is that investments need to be made, new technologies are desperately needed, and the disease and research, although it’s made some progress over the last few years, really has stagnated.”
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