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Notch-blocking drugs kill brain cancer stem cells, yet multiple therapies may be needed
Date:2/25/2010

se the dosage of Notch-blocking drugs."

The study by Eberhart identified additional molecular pathways, including Stat 3 and AKT, which are connected to Notch. He says that a combination of therapies blocking Notch and other pathways such as these could target brain cancer stem cells at several levels and possibly avoid drug resistance.

To test how a Notch-blocking drug worked in an animal model, Eberhart injected tumors into the brains of mice and let the cancer grow for two weeks. Then, at the tumor site, he implanted a polymer bead that was soaked in GSI-18. Five of six mice that received the drug-laden bead survived while all 12 that received a bead with no drug died.

Eberhart notes that Notch-targeting drugs can prove problematic in therapy because the Notch pathway is critically important for cells in the gut, helping cells there alternate between secreting mucus and absorbing nutrients. "A dosing regimen that preserves gut function has been developed, and forthcoming studies in humans will test whether it can kill the cancer stem cells."


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Contact: Vanessa Wasta
wastava@jhmi.edu
410-955-1287
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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