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Monday, November 12, 2007

Toward cancer drugs that penetrate 10 times deeper into the brain

A new drug-delivery system for cancer of the brain — one of the most difficult cancers to treat — has the potential to carry anticancer drugs 10 times deeper into tumors than conventional medications, researchers in Connecticut and New York report.

In the new study, Mark Saltzman and colleagues showed that linking the anticancer drug campothecin (CPT) to the polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG), increased drug diffusion to more than a centimeter from the implant site.

They also identified a promising CPT-PET compound that could deliver 11 times more medication to the tumor than the plain drug alone. For patients, those advantages could substantially improve chances for successful treatment, the researchers indicate.