Dual-Action Hydrogel Could Wipe Out Brain Cancer for Good

By: | April 30th, 2023

Radiation therapy ( Image by Wikimedia )

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) have developed a revolutionary gel that could help in curing glioblastoma.

Glioblastoma is one of the deadliest and most common brain tumors in humans. Usually, surgery is done to remove the tumor. However, the cancer tends to return in most cases.

A new ray of hope for this deadly cancer

This anti-cancer gel developed by the Johns Hopkins team consists of an anticancer drug and an antibody. It is injected into the brain after tumors have been surgically removed. When researchers tested the gel on mice with glioblastoma, surprisingly, all the mouse models were cured of the illness.

This gel not only releases the medication to kill any cancer cells left behind, but also prevent their revival. Therapy is so effective that the gel can reach areas that surgery might miss, killing and suppressing the remaining cancer cells for good.

“This hydrogel combines both chemotherapy and immunotherapy intracranially,” said Betty Tyler, a co-author of the study. “The gel is implanted at the time of tumor resection, which makes it work really well.”

Moreover, when the researchers tried to introduce new glioblastoma tumors in the mice, the immune system beat the cancer without additional medication.

“We don’t usually see 100 percent survival in mouse models of this disease,” added Tyler. “Thinking that there is potential for this new hydrogel combination to change that survival curve for glioblastoma patients is very exciting.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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