Bypassing the blood-brain barrier: Delivery of therapeutic agents by macrophages

Henry Hirschberg, Seung Kuk Baek, Young Jik Kwon, Chung Ho Sun, Steen J. Madsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Failure to eradicate infiltrating glioma cells using conventional treatment regimens results in tumor recurrence and is responsible for the dismal prognosis of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This is due to the fact that these migratory cells are protected by the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood brain tumor barrier (BBTB) which prevents the delivery of most anti-cancer agents. We have evaluated the ability of monocytes/macrophages (Mo/Ma) to cross the BBB in rats. This will permit access of anti-cancer agents such as nanoparticles to effectively target the infiltrating tumor cells, and potentially improve the treatment effectiveness for malignant gliomas. Materials and Methods: The infiltration of Mo/Ma into brain tumor spheroids in vitro was determined using fluorescent stained Mo/Ma. Tumors were also established in the brains of inbred rats and ALA-PDT was given 18 days following tumor induction. The degredation of the BBTB and quantification of the number of infiltrating Mo/Ma was examined on histological sections from removed brains. Results & Conclusion: PDT was highly effective in locally opening the BBTB and inducing macrophage migration into the irradiated portions of brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VI
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VI - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 2010 Jan 232010 Jan 25

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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