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Targeted agent blocked growth of deadly brain cancer in preclinical studies
Date:3/30/2010

Washington, DC A drug already in clinical trials to treat a variety of tumors shows a remarkable ability to shut down growth of glioblastoma in both laboratory cells and in animals, say researchers from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In their experiments, the agent put a brake on growth of laboratory cancer cell lines, and no mice with glioblastoma in their brain died as a result of their tumor while on therapy.

They say their findings, reported in the April 15 issue of Cancer Research, provides hope that the drug, PD-0332991, could offer a new treatment option for glioblastoma, which is the most common as well as the deadliest form of brain cancer. A clinical trial testing the therapy in patients with recurrent brain cancer is under development.

"We have had just amazing results in these preclinical studies," says Todd Waldman, MD, PhD, an associate professor of oncology at Lombardi. "We are hopeful it will prove to be effective in brain cancer patients for which there is little effective therapy."

Waldman is the study's co-lead investigator, along with C. David James, PhD, professor of neurological surgery at UCSF. "What is especially encouraging about this agent is that we found it can easily pass through the blood-brain barrier and access glioblastoma, and that there is already a simple test available for screening glioblastoma patients in advance to see whether or not they should be responsive to this therapy," James says.

Given the molecular data from a recently published study by The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network, about 90 percent of glioblastoma patients have a molecular profile that would make them candidates for the drug, the researchers say.

The drug is currently being tested in clinical trials for otherwise untreatable teratomas, as well as multiple myeloma and breast cancer. It is designed to shut down the activity of molecul
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
215-514-9751
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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