A new “miracle” gel shows great promise for brain tumour treatment during lab tests at Johns Hopkins University. The gel is used to treat one of the most aggressive forms of brain tumour, glioblastoma, leaving patients with a diagnosed life expectancy of 12 – 18 months. The new treatment is used post-surgery to fill the spaces left by the removed tumour, hindering it from regrowing!
Professor Cui, a specialist in chemical and biomolecular engineering, and his team suggest that the gel could potentially be utilized for treating brain areas that cannot be accessed through surgery. Apart from this, experiments conducted on mice infected with tumors have demonstrated that the gel completely eliminated the aggressive tumor, saving them from certain death. Additionally, the gel appeared to trigger an immune response, enabling surviving mice to resist the tumor when reinfected with glioblastoma using only their immune system. It also exhibited indications of enhancing immune memory, resulting in an overall strengthened immune system after treatment.
The medical procedure remains hazardous despite the progress made, as it still necessitates brain surgery for the gel to be effective, requiring direct application to the brain. Implementing the gel without prior surgery resulted in a survival rate of approximately 50 percent.
For those interested in the science behind the miracle: the gel uses a combination of nano-sized filaments, extracted from the approved drug paclitaxel which then transports the antibody called aCD47. The mixture then expands upon the crevice that the tumour left, leaving the aggressive cancer with no room to regrow, thereby killing it off.
Brain Tumour Treatment: Glioblastoma – aggressive and everywhere
Glioblastoma is extremely hazardous for several reasons. Firstly, the tumor grows rapidly and infiltrates nearby tissue, making surgical removal more challenging. Additionally, the brain’s protective mechanism, called the blood brain barrier (BBB), poses another obstacle. While this barrier typically prevents harmful substances from entering the brain, it also hampers the effectiveness of cancer treatments by blocking the passage of drugs.
The location of glioblastoma in the human brain further complicates its treatment since it typically occurs in the cerebral hemispheres. These regions are vital for essential functions like movement, sensation, and cognition. Consequently, surgical intervention becomes riskier as damaging healthy brain tissue can result in severe neurological issues.
There is a group of individuals who reject scientific findings and promote conspiracy theories in an effort to undermine the credibility of science.
Medicine has made significant progress in the last century. It has evolved from using drugs like heroin and cocaine for experimental treatments to the breakthrough development of the first successful polio vaccine in 1955 by Dr. Jonas Salk, which eradicated the fear of infantile paralysis.
The advancements in medicine over the recent years have been incredibly impressive. Science has achieved one breakthrough after another, from successfully treating patients with HIV, a previously incurable disease that was considered fatal, to effectively containing a worldwide pandemic within just two years of its emergence.
The progress of modern science is leading to extended and healthier lifespans for humanity. However, the security and advancements achieved through scientific research have recently faced criticism. Individuals who deny science and believe in conspiracy theories are attempting to promote an anti-science agenda. They discredit scientific facts as incorrect or “fake news” and claim that scientists are influenced by a secretive elite or some other false belief, simply because science does not support their opinions on certain matters. In today’s era of abundant information, it is crucial to rely on credible sources and research in order to stay well-informed. Therefore, it is imperative to respect and safeguard legitimate scientific research from baseless attacks like those witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Without modern science, life as we currently experience it would be significantly shorter and less enjoyable, as exemplified by the case of Glioblastoma.