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Purdue Research Finds Possible Roadmap For Treating Brain Tumors

Assistant professor Tiffany Lyle led research providing the first comprehensive characterization of both the blood-brain and blood-tumor barriers in brain metastases of lung cancer, creating a road map for treatment development.

Assistant professor Tiffany Lyle led research providing the first comprehensive characterization of both the blood-brain and blood-tumor barriers in brain metastases of lung cancer, creating a road map for treatment development. (Rebecca Wilcox/Purdue)

Researchers from Indiana have found a possible way to better deliver cancer drugs to tumors in the brain. The challenge in delivery lies in what’s called the blood-brain barrier.

The blood-brain barrier protects the brain from dangerous foreign substances but also blocks drugs including chemotherapy from reaching tumors that have spread to the brain.

Purdue University scientists have provided the first comprehensive look at the blood-brain and blood-tumor barriers.

Assistant professor Tiffany Lyle led the research out of the Comparative Blood Brain Barrier Laboratory.

"So what we’re trying to do is actually identify the best pathway, the path of least resistance if you will, to allow drugs to enter into the brain," says Lyle.

The work will provide a roadmap of these cells for better delivery of drugs. Lyle used animals in the study but also collaborated with scientists at the Indiana University School of Medicine to confirm the results in human tissue.

The work also focuses on how this roadmap may be used to help other conditions like traumatic brain injuries in veterans.

Contact Jill at jsheridan@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @JillASheridan.

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