Copper has been clinically improving the lives of people since about 1500 BCE, when an Egyptian physician first recorded its use as a treatment for inflammation. Some 35 centuries later, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and Italy’s Catholic University of the Sacred Heart medical school have provided solid evidence that the first metal used medicinally may now have a new role — helping save children from a devastating central nervous system cancer known as medulloblastoma.
The prospective therapy — in which copper ions are combined with a drug once heralded as treatment for alcoholism — is described in a study published today in the journal PLOS ONE.
According to the National Cancer Institute, a medulloblastoma is a fast-growing, cancerous tumor originating in the brain or spinal cord. Predominantly seen in children younger than 10, medulloblastoma is the most common pediatric brain malignancy, with between 250 and 500 new cases diagnosed annually… Continue reading.
Andrew Steckl, PhD, an Ohio eminent scholar and professor of electrical engineering in the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) college of engineering and applied science, working with researchers from Johns Hopkins University, said they have developed a new treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer. Steckl’s nanoelectronics laboratory applied an industrial fabrication process called coaxial electrospinning to form drug-containing membranes.
The treatment, which is implanted directly into the part of the brain where the tumor is surgically removed, can deliver a safe and effective dose of medicine for brain tumors without exposing patients to toxic side effects from traditional chemotherapy, according to the scientists, who published their study (“Multi-layered core-sheath fiber membranes for controlled drug release in the local treatment of brain tumor”) in Nature Scientific Reports… Continue reading.
Henry Brem, M.D., director of the Department of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, has been selected to receive a Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Award for Clinical Excellence. The award is given annually to five physicians whose dedication, talents and skills have improved the lives of thousands of people throughout the world. This year’s award ceremony will take place in New York City on March 23.
“I am grateful for this extraordinary honor,” Brem says. “I truly believe that while medicine has changed, we as people have not, and our patients have not. We have the same needs, fears, desires and hopes that unify us as part of the human race. It is a privilege to take care of our patients and those who seek our care around the world.”
Brem is the Harvey Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins University, where he also serves as neurosurgeon-in-chief; a professor of oncology, ophthalmology and biomedical engineering; and director of the Hunterian Neurological Research Laboratory. He has developed tools and techniques that have changed the field of neurosurgery, and he carried out the pivotal clinical study that introduced navigational imaging into the neurosurgical suite. Brem’s work led to the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the first image guidance computer system for intraoperative localization of tumors.