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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Aug 1;103(31):11719-23. Epub 2006 Jul 25.

Noninvasive localized delivery of Herceptin to the mouse brain by MRI-guided focused ultrasound-induced blood-brain barrier disruption.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Antibody-based anticancer agents are promising chemotherapeutic agents. Among these agents, Herceptin (trastuzumab), a humanized anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/c-erbB2) monoclonal antibody, has been used successfully in patients with breast cancer. However, in patients with brain metastasis, the blood-brain barrier limits its use, and a different delivery method is needed to treat these patients. Here, we report that Herceptin can be delivered locally and noninvasively into the mouse central nervous system through the blood-brain barrier under image guidance by using an MRI-guided focused ultrasound blood-brain barrier disruption technique. The amount of Herceptin delivered to the target tissue was correlated with the extent of the MRI-monitored barrier opening, making it possible to estimate indirectly the amount of Herceptin delivered. Histological changes attributable to this procedure were minimal. This method may represent a powerful technique for the delivery of macromolecular agents such as antibodies to treat patients with diseases of the central nervous system.

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