A group of scientists lead by Dr. B. S. Satish Rao, Professor at the School of Life Sciences (SOLS) and his doctoral student Miss. Suma Prabhu recently engineered a multifunctional nanocomposite carrying anticancer drug, Temozolamide to target glioblastoma (tumor of the brain). The super paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) were functionalized by tagging ligand such as transferrin protein, which helps to cross the blood brain barrier. Another protein, the Nestin anti-body was attached to preferentially target tumor cells.
The study consisted of exposing human glial tumor cells grown in the mouse brain. The mice were treated with the nanoengineered drug. It was observed that the engineered drug could easily cross the blood brain barrier and that it preferentially concentrated in tumors sparing the other healthy tissues surrounding tumor cells.
This has been published in the recent issue of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK’s prestigious Journal “Nanoscale”. The work was financially supported by School of Life Sciences and Manipal University, Manipal in the form of a structured Ph.D fellowship to Miss. Suma Prabhu for her doctoral program under the mentorship of Dr Rao in collaboration with Dr. N. Udupa, Dr. Srinivas Mutalik from Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Sharada Rai, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, as well as Dr. Jayant Sastri Goda, Dr. Pardeep Chaudhari, Mr. Bhabani Shankar Mohanty form ACTREC, Mumbai.
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive, heterogeneous form of brain tumor, accounting for 80% of all glial neoplasms. Primarily, the factors such as diffusion constraints of Blood Brain Barrier junctional proteins, resistant stem cell niche, normal tissue associated toxicity and intrinsic drug resistance further limits the success of treatment. It is in this scenario there is a need for an efficient platform for the delivery of chemotherapeutics specifically to the site of cancer.