Research Training Group 2154 - Materials for Brain

Project 8: Dana Hellmold

Neuroimplants for glioblastoma therapy

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most malignant brain tumor in adults and is characterized by a pronounced therapy resistance. Despite the standard therapy including surgical resection and adjuvant combined radio/chemotherapy, the average survival of GBM patients is still poor and reaches approximately 12-15 month. In recent years, alternative therapy strategies have been developed in our group including the development of local drug delivery systems (functional material-drug-combinations), which, among other things, allow cytostatic drugs to be introduced directly into the resection cavity. Thus, high local drug concentrations could be achieved to treat GBM cells efficiently combined with a maximized protection of healthy cells. 
My project will comprise in-depth in vitro and in vivo studies on the effects, efficacy and biocompatibility of material-drug combinations, which will be carried out in parallel. In order to gain a deeper insight into the inter- and intracellular effects of functional drug-loaded materials on GBM cells, especially in the microenvironment of a locally applied therapy, detailed analyses will be performed in an in vitro co-culture model of an incomplete GBM resection, which is composed of defined proportions of GBM and healthy brain cells. In addition, material-drug combinations will be adapted especially to in vivo conditions. Further, an in vivo rodent GBM resection model will be established and used to evaluate the efficacy and biocompatibility of functional material-drug combinations in vivo.