Navigation Links
Northwestern researchers investigate treatment for tumor cells in spinal fluid
Date:8/6/2012

In two to five percent of women with breast cancer, tumor cells migrate into the spinal fluid invading the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord called the meninges. While a rare complication, the condition is challenging because there is no agreed-upon standard of treatment, leaving little hope for patients affected. Northwestern Medicine researchers are currently examining a novel approach to delivering an FDA approved drug that they hope will advance research for this type of cancer and lead to discoveries that may improve outcomes in the future.

As part of the clinical trial, the drug Trastuzumab is directly injected into the spinal fluid in hopes of stopping the growth of the cancer cells in patients with HER-2 positive breast cancer. Jeffrey Raizer, MD, co-director of the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute (NBTI), is the principal investigator for trial which he developed. NBTI is part of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"When cancer spreads to the spinal fluid and tissues surrounding the brain, called leptomeningeal metastases (LM), there are very limited therapeutic options," said Raizer, who is also medical director of neuro-oncology at Northwestern Memorial and associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "This rare condition typically occurs in later stages of cancer and often the benefits of treatment are small and may be counteracted by its side effects. For women with HER-2 positive breast cancer, they often have well-controlled disease in their body when this complication occurs."

Raizer explains that drugs cannot easily penetrate from the blood stream into the spinal fluid because of the blood brain barrier, making the condition difficult to treat. In this trial, the antibody will be delivered directly into the spinal fluid using a device that is placed under the scalp called an Ommaya reservoir. A small catheter is inserted into a fluid-filled space allowing fluid to be removed and for the drug to be instilled into it.

Women with HER-2 positive breast cancer that has spread to their spinal fluid are currently being enrolled in the clinical trial. HER-2 is a type of breast cancer that tests positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 and leads to an excess of HER-2 protein. This type of breast cancer tends to be more aggressive compared to other breast cancers. Trastuzumab is currently approved for intravenous administration for treatment of HER-2 positive breast cancers and has been shown to be effective in slowing growth of these cancer cells while decreasing the risk of recurrence. Researchers hope similar findings will be true for its use in the treatment of LM.

"We want to offer patients the best chance of recovery possible," said Raizer. "By injecting the drug directly into the brain and spinal fluid, we hope to be able to offer a better means of treating the cancer in the spinal fluid."

The trial will enroll up to 30 women at five sites around the country. Participants must be 18 years old and have HER-2 positive breast cancer that has spread to the spinal fluid. Participants will be assigned to one of four groups receiving dosages of the drug to test its safety and effectiveness and then the safe dose level will be expanded.

"Research trials like this are an important means of finding better treatments for conditions that currently have very few options," added Raizer


'/>"/>
Contact: Megan McCann
memccann@nmh.org
312-926-5900
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Northwestern Medicine hosts the National Marfan Foundations Annual Conference
2. Northwestern launches comprehensive program for patients with bicuspid aortic valve disease
3. Vanderbilt researchers find proteins may point way to new prostate cancer drug targets
4. MDC researchers develop new approach to treat acute liver failure
5. Breast Cancer Charity Overstates Value of Mammograms: Researchers
6. Boston University researchers expand synthetic biologys toolkit
7. Global health researchers urge integrating de-worming into HIV care in Africa
8. Researchers find potential cancer roadblock
9. CWRU School of Medicine researchers discover gene that permanently stops cancer cell proliferation
10. Boys impulsiveness may result in better math ability, say MU researchers
11. Accelerated resolution therapy significantly reduces PTSD symptoms, researchers report
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2020)... ... May 26, 2020 , ... ... certain infections can impact the brain causing post infectious encephalitis. The work ... Streptococcal Infections) and PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) could adversely attack the ...
(Date:5/26/2020)... , ... May 26, 2020 , ... ... coronavirus pandemic, medical centers across the United States are joining forces to start ... workers who have worked tirelessly to save lives. #FitForTheFrontLine is a national fitness ...
(Date:5/21/2020)... PAUL, Minn. (PRWEB) , ... May 21, 2020 ... ... a medical device manufacturer, announces its first milestone to deliver over one million ... just eight weeks. Summit Medical Face Shields meet the critical need for personal ...
(Date:5/21/2020)... KENNESAW, Ga. (PRWEB) , ... May 21, 2020 , ... ... Representatives District 35, has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates (PPSEA). ... candidates who support family planning and the full range of reproductive health care. PPSEA ...
(Date:5/21/2020)... ... May 21, 2020 , ... Casenet® LLC today released TruCare ... care management and utilization management at health insurance plans. Developed over two years ... significant usability and automation upgrades to all of its existing features, introduces more ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/30/2020)... ... , ... United Nations Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Cousens ... terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO): , “We are deeply ... the World Health Organization. Any move of this kind will severely impede the ...
(Date:5/28/2020)... ... May 28, 2020 , ... ... vascular hospital, and an Alliance member of the Cleveland Clinic Heart, Vascular & ... with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). , COPD is a growing and devastating ...
(Date:5/27/2020)... ... ... Dr. Anuj Shah , CHIROPRACTIC CARE, Bergen County, ... , Morris County, Dr. Derek Ferguson , DERMATOLOGY, ... Dr. Krista King , Union County, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: