Brain cancers such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are practically incurable due to their location, invasiveness and highly aggressive nature. Lumiblast aims at establishing a novel method to combat brain tumours by providing proof-of-concept in extra-cellular systems, GBM cell cultures and animal models.
Lumiblast's innovative concept is based on combining Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT) with a novel chemiluminescent (or self-luminous) substance so that the need for an external light source, such as a lamp or a laser, will be eliminated. This will bypass today`s main shortcoming of clinical PDT, namely the limited depth of light penetration into tissue.
The overarching aim of Lumiblast is to faciliate a paradigm shift in cancer therapy by unlocking the full potential of PDT though an highly innovative approach and novel technologies. The use of light-based treatments of GBM by activating tumor-localized photosensitizers, such as in PDT has been clinically evaluated, but with limited success. This is mainly due to the limited penetration of light into tissue and the efficient spread of tumor cells. Moreover, the existing photon based treatments (photodynamic therapy) are highly invasive and usually require open-cranium surgery, due to the need for external light sources.
In Lumiblast, the photons are produced inside the tumor cells in the form of chemiluminescence avoiding the major limitation of using external light to treat solid, deep-sited and inaccessible tumors. The principle utilized in Lumiblast may also be relevant for cancers of other origins. Due to its nature Lumiblast is expected to act on individual cells, rather than the collective lesion; it could thus completely eliminate the hitherto incurable GBM. Each GBM cell is expected to become a small lamp providing the light required for the photosensitive agents to become activated, killing the tumour cells from the inside. Lumiblast will establish this breakthrough technology by providing proof-of-concept in extracellular systems, GBM cell cultures and animal models, with the vision to advance Lumiblast to the clinic 5-6 years after the end of the end of the project.