The research team he is part of is trying to develop an anti-cancer drug based on cyclodextrins, a type of sugar found in potatoes, wheat, corn or rice. Malanga is working with a team of scientists and researchers at Budapest-based Cyclolab, the largest research and development laboratory of its type in the world.
Final results of the research into the anti-cancer treatment, known as Project Cyclon, are expected by 2013. 'State-of-the-art drugs to fight different types of brain cancer are, unfortunately, scarce and not as effective as they should be to ensure an acceptable degree of success', states Malanga, who was selected for support from the EU's "Marie Curie Actions" scheme in January 2010.
'If our work at Cyclolab bears the expected fruit, the new anti-cancer drugs might be developed by 2013', said the Marie Curie fellow in July 2010. One of the biggest challenges for the researchers is to develop drugs that fight cancerous cells, without killing off healthy cells at the same time.
Another specific problem they face is that the brain is protected by a layer of high-density cells, known as the "blood-brain barrier", which restrict the effectiveness of most existing anti-cancer treatments.