John Garner

mPEG-PLGA and PLGA from PolySciTech used in development of nanoparticle combination therapy for brain-cancer treatment

Blog Post created by John Garner on Nov 19, 2018

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Glioblastoma is a form of brain-cancer that is highly aggressive with a 15-16 month median patient survival rate. Use of nanoparticles which may cross the blood-brain-barrier, along with combination therapeutic approaches, may provide further treatment options. Recently, researchers at University of Massachusetts Lowell used mPEG-PLGA (PolyVivo AK037) and PLGA (AP041) from PolySciTech ( to create nanoparticles loaded with a combination of photosensitizers and chemotherapy agents for treatment against this disease. This research holds promise to provide for improved therapeutic options against this fatal disease. Read more: Kydd, Janel, Rahul Jadia, and Prakash Rai. "Co-Administered Polymeric Nano-Antidotes for Improved Photo-Triggered Response in Glioblastoma." Pharmaceutics 10, no. 4 (2018): 226.


“Abstract: Polymer-based nanoparticles (NPs) are useful vehicles in treating glioblastoma because of their favorable characteristics such as small size and ability to cross the blood–brain barrier, as well as reduced immunogenicity and side effects. The use of a photosensitizer drug such as Verteporfin (BPD), in combination with a pan-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), Cediranib (CED), encapsulated in NPs will provide the medical field with new research on the possible ways to treat glioblastoma. Concomitant administration of BPD and CED NPs have the potential to induce dual photocytotoxic and cytostatic effects in U87 MG cells by (1) remotely triggering BPD through photodynamic therapy by irradiating laser at 690 nm and subsequent production of reactive oxygen species and (2) inhibiting cell proliferation by VEGFR interference and growth factor signaling mechanisms which may allow for longer progression free survival in patients and fewer systemic side effects. The specific aims of this research were to synthesize, characterize and assess cell viability and drug interactions for polyethylene-glycolated (PEGylated) polymeric based CED and BPD NPs which were less than 100 nm in size for enhanced permeation and retention effects. Synergistic effects were found using the co-administered therapies compared to the individual drugs. The major goal of this research was to investigate a new combination of photodynamic-chemotherapy drugs in nano-formulation for increased efficacy in glioblastoma treatment at reduced concentrations of therapeutics for enhanced drug delivery in vitro. Keywords: drug delivery; cancer; polymer; nanomedicine; angiogenesis; blood–brain barrier”


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