Glioblastomas are highly malignant brain tumors that can be resistant to conventional treatment. Despite the various therapies available, treatment success is very low. One of the main reasons for poor survival rates is the difficulty in getting anti-cancer drugs through the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Therefore, a means to expose brain tumors to effective concentrations without adverse effects to the patient are needed.
Research was conducted to explore the possibility of using peripheral blood mononuclear cells as carriers of the drug paclitaxel. This approach was chosen because mononuclear cells are present at high levels in the glioma tumor environment, and they can cross the BBB under inflammatory conditions. Paclitaxel is a chemotherapeutic drug that is effective against gliomas, but it cannot cross the BBB.
To assess the potential of peripheral blood mononuclear cells as drug carriers, the researchers used mononuclear cells that adhere to fibronectin-coated dishes. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells that can bind to fibronectin contain endothelia progenitor cells, which can concentrate in environments characteristic of tumors. These fibronectin-adherent cells were obtained from the peripheral blood of patients with glioblastoma and healthy donors. Experiments were done using a human glioblastoma cell line and primary cells from surgical tissues. These cells were incubated alone, with the fibronectin-adherent peripheral mononuclear cells loaded with paclitaxel, or with mononuclear cells without the paclitaxel.
Cell counts and measures of cell death and proliferation were conducted to determine the effect of exposure to the paclitaxel-loaded peripheral mononuclear cells. The paclitaxel-loaded cells inhibited the growth and proliferation of the human tumor cell line and the surgically obtained tumor cells. This effect was greater with peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with glioblastoma. Assays designed to measure angiogenesis (blood vessel formation) showed that the paclitaxel-loaded cells could prevent angiogenesis. These results provide a basis for additional research that can lead to a more effective therapy for glioblastoma.
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Schiariti MP, et al. "Fibronectin-Adherent Peripheral Blood Derived Mononuclear Cells As Paclitaxel Carriers For Glioblastoma Treatment: An In Vitro Study. - Pubmed - NCBI". Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 May 2017.