New approach in cancer therapy from the MSE Department

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Source: WW7

A research team from FAU led by Prof. Dr. Aldo R. Boccaccini, Chair of Biomaterials, produces bioactive glasses that are being tested for their suitability in the therapy of giant cell tumors of the bone as part of a cooperation project with the Heidelberg University Hospital. The German Cancer Aid is funding the project with around 212,000 euros.

The tiny glass particles, which contain biologically active ions such as zinc, magnesium or boron, are examined for the formation of carbonated hydroxyapatite (CHA) when they come into contact with body fluids. The formation of such a CHA layer enables the glass particles to interact with the bone tissue. The FAU research team headed by Prof. Dr. Aldo R. Boccaccini is one of the world’s leading groups involved in the development, manufacture and characterization of bioactive glasses.

In the treatment of bone fractures, patients are already benefiting from bioactive glasses that stimulate bone growth. In addition, these glasses can also have a cell-damaging effect. And it is precisely this that the researchers at Heidelberg University Hospital want to take advantage of, because cancer cells of the giant cell tumor of the bone apparently react more sensitively than healthy bone cells. The aim is to specifically kill cancer cells and prevent local recurrences, i.e. recurring tumors. Recurrences are relatively common in giant cell tumors and can lead to a serious course of the disease. The scientists hope to be able to improve the provision of the glasses for cancer patients.