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Understanding brain tumor growth opens door for non-surgical treatment
Date:1/14/2013

ogy and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. He said: "At present the only treatment available to NF2 sufferers is repeated surgery to remove tumours. This is only partially effective, because in some cases tumours are in areas where it is impossible to reach with surgery, and because eradicating a tumour from a part of the brain or nervous system does not mean that another one will not grow in its place. Chemotherapy is not an option, because in most cases NF2 tumours are slow growing it is their sheer number that causes risk to the patient.

"Our study in Oncogene offers real hope to patients, because it identifies how the growth of NF2 tumours works and shows that existing drugs could be modified to help stop and even reverse the rate of tumour growth. This is good news for patients for two reasons: it shows that there could be a valid alternative to surgery; and because the answer may be the adaptation of existing drugs, therapies could be developed relatively quickly because the process of clinical trials and drug registration has already taken place. Also the mechanism causing tumours in NF2 is also causing many spontaneous brain cancers and is found in other cancers. So what we found has potential relevance for other cancers."

The study comes hard on the heels of news of funding from the Medical Research Council for a study headed by Professor David Parkinson and Cancer Research UK for the same research team. The funding is being used to investigate why the mechanisms that suppress the growth and multiplication of tumours in the brain and nervous system do not work in some people, and to show how a new drug could be used as an alternative treatment to surgery.


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Contact: Andrew Gould
andrew.gould@pcmd.ac.uk
44-188-438-346
University of Plymouth
Source:Eurekalert

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