Treating cancer directly in the brain without heat or radiation is one of the goals of brain cancer research. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) have developed a new method to kill brain cancer cells, while preserving the tissues that surround them.
After the publication of the Columbia Universityit is the turn of another team of researchers to communicate the results of a new method to treat brain tumors. The research team from the University of Saskatchewan (USask, Canada) has developed a technique consisting of placing long needles directly into the brain, and sending pulses of electric current into a tumor such as glioblastoma which is the commonest and most aggressive brain tumour.
Electric current targeted at tumor cells
In vitro, the researchers created 3D cell models that were then treated with different electric field thresholds. The treatment protocols are called “irreversible electroporation” and “irreversible high-frequency electroporation”; they can destroy glioblastoma cells while preserving surrounding tissue. The researchers found that a certain type of electric field could kill tumor cells, for example with a conventional protocol of 90 pulses, 1 hertz and a pulse duration of 100 microseconds.
They also discovered that their technique could temporarily disrupt the blood-brain barrier, which does not allow all molecules to enter the brain. ” We have shown that our technique can also help open this barrier, so that the brain is better able to receive other treatments — such as chemotherapy or drugs that help increase the immune response — and help the patient fight the tumor systematically “, said Chris Zhanga biomedical engineering researcher at USask and co-author of the study published in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering.