Mechanical Nanosurgery Could Revolutionize Brain Cancer Treatment

Glioblastoma is an aggressive brain cancer that invades brain tissue. The average life expectancy following diagnosis for this cancer is 14 to 16 months. Globally, the standard of care for patients with this type of cancer includes chemotherapy with temozolomide, which extends a patient’s expectancy by about two months. Patients may also undergo radiotherapy as well as surgery to remove tumors.

However, even after rigorous treatment cycles, glioblastoma cells may develop resistance to temozolomide over time, heightening the chances of tumor relapse and decreasing its effectiveness.

Researchers at the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children may have developed a new way to treat tumor cells for all cancers, including chemo-resistant cancers. In a new study, the researchers presented a novel approach that uses precision magnetic control in a process termed “mechanical nanosurgery” to treat aggressive, chemo-resistant cancers.

Dr. Yu Sun, director of the Robotics Institute at the University of Toronto and Mechanical Engineering professor; and Dr. Xi Huang, a senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children, were part of the study. Huang, whose prior studies helped inform the new study after demonstrating that brain tumor cells were mechanosensitive, explained that mechanical nanosurgery helped destroy tumor cells from within.

The researchers used a mouse model to demonstrate that the mechanical nanosurgery decreased glioblastoma tumor size, including in temozolomide-resistant glioblastoma. The model was developed with Dr. Xian Wang of Queen’s University, who is the first author of the study.

The researchers also used magnetic carbon nanotubes, which are made of carbon and iron that magnetizes when activated externally by a magnetic field. The scientists coated the nanotubes with an antibody that recognizes certain proteins linked to glioblastoma tumor cells then injected it into the tumor, observing that the nanomaterials sought tumor cells and were absorbed by them.

Once the nanomaterials were in the tumor cells, the scientists then used a magnetic field to mobilize the nanotubes mechanically to offer mechanical stimulation, noting that the nanotubes exerted force that was enough to cause death of tumor cells by damaging cellular structures.

The researchers are now focused on discovering more applications for mechanical nanosurgery in other types of cancer.

The study’s findings were published in the “Science Advances” journal. The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, SickKids Foundation, Ontario Research Fund, National Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Sontag Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre and Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, among other organizations.

There is a lot of other research and development being undertaken by the likes of CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) with regard to brain cancer, and there is hope that these efforts will yield novel treatments that will improve the clinical outcomes of patients diagnosed with brain cancer.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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