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Yael Mardor, PhD

Yael Mardor, PhD

Grant Status

Chaim Sheba Medical Center

Grant Type
Acceleration Grant

Project Title
BBB Disruption by Low Pulsed Electric Fields for Antibodies Delivery to Brain Metastases

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Brain Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastasis

About the Investigator:

Dr. Yael Mardor, Principal Investigator, is an expert in Magnetic Resonance Imaging and drug delivery into the brain, with emphasis on brain and brain tumors.  She received her BS and MS degrees from Tel Aviv University, and completed her PhD in Nuclear Physics at Tel Aviv University in collaboration with the US Brookhaven National Laboratory.  She is currently the Chief Scientist and Head of the Magnetic Resonance Research Group at the Advanced Technology Center of Sheba Medical Center and an Associate Professor at Tel Aviv University Medical School.  She is joined on this project by Co-Investigators Itzik Cooper, PhD, of Sheba Medical Center/Interdiscplinary Center, Herzliya; and Shirley Sharabi, PhD, of Sheba Medical Center.

About the Research:

From 15%-35% of breast cancer patients develop brain metastases.  Though there are effective treatments for metastatic breast cancer, treating brain metastases has been limited by what is known as the blood-brain barrier (or BBB).  This is a natural barrier that prevents both small and large molecules in the bloodstream from entering into the brain.  Drs. Mardor, Sharabi and Cooper have worked together to pioneer a safe and non-invasive approach for disrupting the BBB by short, non-invasive, and repeated electrical field treatments, which allows both small and large molecules to enter the brain.

The goal of this research project is to develop a platform that causes transient disruption of the BBB that permits efficient delivery of the antibody Herceptin to the brain.  Herceptin specifically targets breast cancer cells that carry high levels of the HER-2 protein on the cell surface.  Intravenous administration of Herceptin can control breast cancer that has metastasized essentially anywhere in the body except the brain, where the blood brain barrier inhibits access by Herceptin.  Success in the proposed research will provide new hope for breast cancer patients. More generally, the ability to efficiently disrupt the BBB to administer therapeutics may change the treatment paradigm for other cancer patients as well, including those suffering from primary brain tumors and other types of tumors that metastasize to the brain.


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