Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Injecting brain cancer drug with MRI

Date:
August 6, 2013
Source:
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
Summary:
Neurosurgeons are now utilizing real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance for delivery of gene therapy as a potential treatment for brain tumors.

Using MRI navigation, Chen can inject an investigational gene therapy directly into a brain tumor.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

Neurosurgeons at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center are among the first in the world to utilize real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance for delivery of gene therapy as a potential treatment for brain tumors. Using MRI navigational technology, neurosurgeons can inject Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec), a novel investigational gene therapy, directly into a brain malignancy. This new approach offers a precise way to deliver a therapeutic virus designed to make the tumor susceptible to cancer-killing drugs.

Related Articles


"With chemotherapy, just about every human cell is exposed to the drug's potential side-effects. By using the direct injection approach, we believe we can limit the presence of the active drug to just the brain tumor and nowhere else in the body," said Clark Chen, MD, PhD, chief of stereotactic and radiosurgery and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at UC San Diego Health System. "With MRI, we can see the tumor light up in real time during drug infusion. The rest of the brain remains unaffected so the risk of the procedure is minimized."

Toca 511 is a retrovirus engineered to selectively replicate in cancer cells, such as glioblastomas. Toca 511 produces an enzyme that converts an anti-fungal drug, flucytosine (5-FC), into the anti-cancer drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). After the injection of Toca 511, the patients are treated with an investigational extended-release oral formulation of 5-FC called Toca FC. Cancer cell killing takes place when 5-FC comes into contact with cells infected with Toca 511.

"Inevitably, almost all glioblastoma patients fail currently available therapy. The challenge, in part, is knowing if current drugs are actually penetrating the tumor. This MRI-guided approach will help us deliver this drug into the tumor directly to see if the drug is working," said Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, principal investigator and director of neuro-oncology at Moores Cancer Center. "This approach may lead to new treatment options for patients battling several other types of brain cancers."

Previous efforts using gene therapy to treat brain cancer were largely limited by the inability to deliver the drug into the brain. Under normal conditions, the brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier but this natural defense mechanism also prevents drugs from reaching the cancer cells in patients with brain tumors. Fortunately, 5-FC crosses the blood-brain barrier, and direct injection of Toca 511 into the tumor provides a means to selectively generate chemotherapy within the tumor mass.

To ensure that the adequate amount of Toca 511 is delivered to the region of the tumor, neurosurgeons at UC San Diego Health System utilize state-of-the art MRI guidance, called ClearPoint, to monitor the delivery and injection processes in real time. The MRI-guided process provides visual confirmation that the desired amount of drug is delivered into the tumor and provides physicians the ability to make adjustments to optimize the location of drug delivery.

Participants in this clinical trial must be 18 years or older; have a single, recurrent Grade 3 or 4 glioma; and have had prior surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The MRI-based procedure is minimally invasive and all participants of the study were discharged from the hospital one day after surgery and resumed their normal daily activity.

The Phase 1 trial is evaluating the safety and tolerability of Toca 511 in combination with Toca FC (5-FC, extended-release tablets), and is being developed by San Diego-based Tocagen Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Injecting brain cancer drug with MRI." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806145435.htm>.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. (2013, August 6). Injecting brain cancer drug with MRI. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806145435.htm
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Injecting brain cancer drug with MRI." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806145435.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins