Scientists claim that have developed a truly soluble liquid aspirin that can reach the brain and kill glioblastoma cells—one of the most aggressive types of brain tumor— without causing any damage to healthy brain cells. Well, in the laboratory at least.
The study is not published and peer-reviewed yet, but it has been presented in the Brain Tumors 2016 conference in Poland by researchers from the Brain Tumour Research Centre at the Univerity of Portsmouth in the UK.
The blood-brain barrier keeps pathogens from invading the brain's blood supply. It only allows water and some substances to pass through. It is a great shield from substances that may harm the brain but it is also a big hindrance for the success of operations where doctors need to deliver drugs directly to the brain. This mechanism is actually a reason why brain tumors cause high mortality rates.
Last year, scientists announced that they were able to get chemotherapy drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier for the first time by utilizing ultrasound to part the barrier effectively. And now, the team from UK claims to have created aspirin that can travel directly into the brain.
Goodbye Brain Tumor?
The aspirin was created by reformulating aspirin with two more ingredients, that are not revealed yet, into soluble form. The final product is called 'IP1867B'. It showed promising results when different formulations of the drug were tested with glioblastoma cells extracted from patients with brain tumors.
Regardless of how the ingredients were combined, it is still more effective when compared to treatments available at the present. It is also important to note that the drug did not affect normal brain cells. The drug is soon to be tested on experimental models.