Glioblastomas are the most common and aggressive brain tumor in humans, with a high rate of relapse. These tumor cells often extend beyond the well-defined tumor margins making it extremely difficult for clinicians and radiologists to visualize with current imaging techniques. Researchers have been investigating enhanced methods of attacking these cells in order to possibly delay or prevent brain tumor relapse.
In a study published in the August issue of the journal Radiology, the research team led by Panos Fatouros, Ph.D., a former professor and chair of the Division of Radiation Physics and Biology in the VCU School of Medicine who retired in 2010, demonstrated that a nanoparticle containing an MRI diagnostic agent can effectively be imaged within the brain tumor and provide radiation therapy in an animal model.
The nanoparticle filled with gadolinium, a sensitive MRI contrast agent for imaging, and coupled with radioactive lutetium 177 to deliver brachytherapy, is known as a theranostic agent – a single compound capable of delivering simultaneously effective treatment and imaging. The lutetium 177 is attached to the outside of the carbon cage of the nanoparticle.
"We believe the clustering properties of this nanoplatform prolong its retention within the tumor, thereby allowing a higher radiation dose to be delivered locally," said Michael Shultz, Ph.D., a research fellow in Fatouros' lab in the Department of Radiology in the VCU School of Medicine.
"This theranostic agent could potentially provide critical data about tumor response to therapy by means of longitudinal imaging without further contrast administration," said Fatouros.
A nanoparticle called a functionalized metallofullerene (fMF), also known as a "buckyball," served as the basis of this work and was created by study collaborator, Harry Dorn, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at Virginia Tech, and his team. In 1999, Dorn and his colleagues were able to encapsulate rare earth metals in the hollow interior of these nanoparticles that can easily be recognized by MRI techniques.
"Although this is a limited animal study, it shows great promise and hopefully this metallofullerene platform will be extended to humans," said Dorn.
Fatouros, who is the corresponding author on the study, Shultz and Dorn collaborated with John D. Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor in the VCU Department of Radiology; Christine E. Fuller, M.D., professor and director of neuropathology and autopsy pathology at VCU; and Jianyuan "Jason" Zhang, a graduate student in chemistry at Virginia Tech from Beijing, China.
The study was funded by grants to Fatouros from the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, and to Dorn from the National Science Foundation.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A copy of the study is available for reporters by email request from email@example.com.
About VCU and the VCU Medical Center: Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 32,000 students in 211 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU's 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation's leading academic medical centers.
Sathya Abraham | EurekAlert!
Neutrons produce first direct 3D maps of water during cell membrane fusion
21.09.2018 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Narcolepsy, scientists unmask the culprit of an enigmatic disease
20.09.2018 | Universitätsspital Bern
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
21.09.2018 | Event News
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
24.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
24.09.2018 | Information Technology
21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy