October 7, 2019

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive primary brain tumor, for which there is currently no cure. The joint project between the laboratories of Dr. Maria Castro and Anna Schwendeman, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, explores the use of high-density lipoprotein nanodiscs to co-deliver chemo and immune-therapeutics for the treatment of glioblastoma.

“In mouse models of glioblastoma, treatment using nanodiscs in combination with radiation, which is the standard of care for GBM, resulted in tumor regression and long-term survival in 80% of animals,” explains Dr. Schwendeman. “Moreover, when surviving mice were challenged by injection of cancer cells to model tumor recurrence, the tumors did not grow as mice had developed long-term immunity against glioblastoma.”

“Glioblastoma is deadly disease, treatment options are of critical need,” says Dr. Schwendeman. “This project represents the truly collaborative and interdisciplinary aspects of Michigan Pharmacy Research. It started based on a Nanomedicine Challenge Grant awarded by Biointerfaces Institute. Dr. Castro and I received a R21 grant from NIH to support this work as well as some funds from Mcubed. That it is a great project that gave an opportunity to train students in multidisciplinary research environment. This type of interdisciplinary collaboration is necessary to conduct cutting-edge research and to be competitive in grant applications.”

The study, "High-Density Lipoprotein-Mimicking Nanodiscs for Chemo-immunotherapy against Glioblastoma Multiforme," published in ACS Nano this year, represents a powerful translational approach for the treatment of brain cancer. The project was conducted by Padma Kadiyala and Dan Li. Other Michigan Pharmacy contributors to this research including Dr. James Moon and graduate students, Rui Kuai and Minzhi Yu and from Neurosurgery, Drs. Pedro Lowenstein, Neha Kamran and David Altshuler and research technicians Robert Doherty and Fernando Nunez. The work was supported by NIH-NINDS.