Scientists have reported the development and testing of a drug that could treat brain cancer, and can be given as nose drops rather than an injection.
The new form of methotrexate promises to be more effective in cancer treatment unlike conventional methods wherein anticancer drugs have difficulty reaching the brain, they said.
This happens due to a so-called blood-brain barrier (a protective layer of cells surrounding the brain) prevents medication in the blood from entering the brain.However, Tomotaka Shingaki and colleagues said that new evidence indicates that some drugs administered through the nose, either as nose drops or nasal spray, can bypass this barrier and travel directly into the brain. Among them are drugs for migraine headaches.
When tested on lab rats having brain cancer, the nose drop drug reduced the weight of tumors by almost one-third, the scientists said.
"The strategy to utilize the nose-brain direct transport can be applicable to a new therapeutic system not only for brain tumors but also for other central nervous system disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases," the article noted.
The report appears in ACS' Molecular Pharmaceutics, a bi-monthly journal.