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Scientists find potential benefit of hypericin for recurrent brain tumors
Date:4/11/2011

able disease or a partial response during treatment with hypericin. Of the 18 patients who completed at least 60 days of hypericin treatment, 50 percent achieved either stable disease or a partial response.

"The patients enrolled in our study were all individuals whose tumors had recurred or progressed after extensive prior therapy," says Couldwell.

"Finding evidence of potential antitumor activity among this very ill population of patients who had failed conventional treatment is a promising sign that hypericin could be useful as an adjunct to the current standard of care."

Gliomas are typically treated with a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The investigators suggest that the future of hypericin in the treatment of malignant gliomas will most likely focus on the use of the synthetic compound either in conjunction with radiation therapy or other chemotherapeutic agents or in patients with resistant tumors.

"Despite advances in care, the prognosis for patients with malignant glioma remains poor. The next step is to examine the effect of hypericin if given earlier in the course of therapy," says Couldwell. "Since different chemotherapy agents have different mechanisms of action, it would be interesting to see if adding hypericin to existing treatment regimens for malignant glioma would have an additive or synergistic effect."


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Contact: Chris Nelson
christopher.nelson@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-7387
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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