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Atraumatic access to brain tumours for the development of personalised cancer therapies

The Project

Using cerebral open microperfusion (cOFM), the TARGET project is realising an atraumatic approach with an intact and active blood-brain barrier, with which the distribution of chemotherapeutic agents in the centre of the growing tumour can be investigated in the future and, in combination with metabolomics analyses, biomarkers for the efficacy of various current and future therapies can be described.

Our Role in the Project

Cerebral Open Microperfusion (cOFM) technology was developed at the HEALTH Institute to measure the transport of drugs and substances from the bloodstream across the intact blood-brain barrier into the brain. In the TARGET project, cOFM was used to introduce human glioblastoma cells into an established preclinical model in order to carry out measurements in the centre of the tumour. The samples obtained were analysed and evaluated at the HEALTH Institute.

DI Dr. Thomas Altendorfer-Kroath
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Land Steiermark

Project Details

Glioblastomas are among the most common primary brain tumours with an extremely poor prognosis; the average survival rate after diagnosis is 10-13 months. Learn more

A fundamental problem in the treatment of glioblastomas is the heterogeneity of the tumours and their interaction with their environment. Due to the special barrier function of the blood-brain barrier, it is unclear whether and to what extent chemotherapeutic agents can reach the tumour tissue in order to develop their full effect. Furthermore, due to heterogeneity, it is often not clear which chemotherapeutic agent will achieve the best possible therapeutic success.

Existing glioblastoma models cannot adequately answer these questions. Using cerebral open microperfusion (cOFM), an atraumatic approach to human brain tumours with an intact and active blood-brain barrier was realised in the TARGET project, with which both the function of the blood-brain barrier in the tumour and the distribution of various chemotherapeutic agents in the centre of the growing tumour can be investigated. This will make it possible to re-evaluate existing therapeutic approaches and investigate the distribution of new therapeutic agents.

In combination with the metabolomics analyses established at the HEALTH Institute, biomarkers for the development of new targets for future therapeutics are identified from the samples obtained, and biomarkers for the efficacy of various current therapies are described.

This will make it possible in future to improve the treatment of brain tumours and extend the survival time of tumour patients.

The first results from this project have already been published in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods. Learn more


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