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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

on the BloodBrainBarrier

Just today I started working on BBB, or Blood Brain Barrier - and here comes a post from Omics quickly explaining how it works (so that I don't have to) and why Avastin, an antibody avoiding vascular growth which would otherwise feed the tumor, may be able to cross the barrier even if usually antibodies aren't allowed in the Sancta Sanctorum of the human body, the brain - which has its own immune system, apparently.

So, the trick (may be) that the brain tumor itself seems to impair the BBB functionality, so that avastin can slip through... and kill it. Kind of a burglar which leaves open the door of the apartment he's robbing, only to be surprised by a policeman who got curious about the open door. But why does the BBB give in where a brain tumor is growing? Apparently, this may have to do with the fact that the tumor needs to be fed by new capillaries, and for growing this the tight junctions have to be disassembled. Tough chance for the tumor. Good for us, and some hope for those patients who may, one day be saved.

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