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Silvia Fernandez | November 13, 2015
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For the first time ever, doctors have successfully managed to breach the human blood brain barrier to deliver cancer-fighting drugs.


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) has been a persistent obstacle to delivering valuable therapies to treat disease such as tumours,” explains lead investigator Dr. Todd Mainprize. The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program Neurosurgeon goes on to say, “We are encouraged that we were able to temporarily open this barrier in a patient to deliver chemotherapy directly to the brain tumour.”


Also an assistant professor at the University of Toronto division of neurosurgery, Dr. Mainprize goes on to say, “Some of the most exciting and novel therapeutics for the treatment of malignant brain tumours are not able to reach the tumour cells because of the blood brain barrier. This technique will open up new opportunities to deliver potentially much more effective treatments to the targeted areas.”


He adds, “This technique will open up new opportunities to deliver potentially much more effective treatments.”


In addition, Sunnybrook Research Institute director of physical sciences Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, notes, “The success of this case is gratifying. My hope now is that many patients will eventually benefit from it,” having worked on projects like this for many years.


Concurrently, Focused Ultrasound Foundation chairman, Dr. Neal Kassell comments, “Breaching this barrier opens up a new frontier in treating brain disorders. We are encouraged by the momentum building for the use of focused ultrasound to non-invasively deliver therapies for a number of brain disorders.”


“This is a very important step in the development of MR-guided focused ultrasound technology,” says Eyal Zadicario, VP R&D and Director of Neuro Programs at INSIGHTEC. “We continue to push the technology into new clinical applications that can have significant impact where it matters most — to patients.”


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