The National Cancer Institute awarded a $9.7 million grant to Mayo Clinic and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday.
 
The money will be distributed across a five-year span and go toward supporting an NCI-affiliated Physical Sciences-Oncology Center.
 
Researchers at Rochester-based Mayo and at MIT hope to better understand the physical parameters that limit drug delivery into brain tumors. Mayo, MIT and the 10 other institutions in the NCI Physical Sciences-Oncology Network will then use this information to advance drug delivery in brain tumor cases. Specifically, Mayo hopes to build models that physicians can use to better predict how the body might distribute a particular drug to brain tumors.
 
“The most common types of malignant brain tumors—brain metastases origination from cancers outside of the brain, and glioblastoma—have regions that are protected from most drugs,” said Jann Sarkaria, a co-principal investigator at Mayo. “Low-level drug exposure in these regions can promote drug resistance and that may be why there have been no new effective drug treatments for brain tumors in more than a decade.”
 
Mayo hopes the research could bring about improvements in individualized medicine. Ultimately, according to Mayo, the advancements at its Physical Sciences-Oncology Center and at other institutions could aid physicians in selecting a drug more suitable for a patient based on their unique tumor. 

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