Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Another step forward in fighting glioblastoma

According to a recent article in The Chronicle, “A new immunotherapy treatment created by Duke researchers holds promise for patients with aggressive brain tumors.

The researchers engineered a protein—bispecific T-cell engager or BiTE—that attacks the cancerous cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. The protein locates the tumor and attracts white blood cells called T-cells to attack the cancerous cells. The therapy was successful in six out of eight mice with brain tumors.“

As you can imagine, the article reports that “The scientists’ goal is to adapt the new treatment for humans with malignant brain tumors such as glioblastoma.” According to Dr. Darrell Bigner, Director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, if the drug succeeds in clinical trials, it could change the current standard of care for these types of tumors.

How so? Bigner says that “If [this treatment] is as successful in patients as it has been in the mice, it would be a completely new method of treating brain tumors and would potentially be much more effective than our current treatments and lack the toxicity of the current treatments.”

Being just vaguely familiar with current glioblastoma  treatments, but being somewhat familiar with GBM blogger comments on sites like Inspire, any improvement would be of huge value.

Here’s a link to the article in The Chronicle:

And for you scientists/researchers/high IQ types, here’s a link to the abstract of the published paper, “Pattern of retinoblastoma pathway inactivation dictates response to CDK4/6 inhibition in GBM” from PNS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America -

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