UCLA researchers have found a potential treatment that will prevent the growth of tumors found in a common and aggressive form of brain cancer.
In a study published Monday, researchers found a certain drug treatment prevented a glioblastoma tumor from growing by cutting off the nutrient supply for tumor cells and promoting their death. Researchers in the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center implanted human glioblastoma cells into mice and analyzed the effect of two drugs on the tumor cells’ regression.
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, with a median survival rate of roughly 15 months, according to the National Brain Tumor Society.
The study’s treatment involves a combination of two drugs. Erlotinib, a Food and Drug Administration approved drug, manipulates a tumor cell surface protein, disrupting its absorption of glucose and preventing it from supplying enough energy to the tumor cell. Idasanutlin, an experimental drug, then activates a protein to promote the already weakened cell to self-destruct.
According to a university press release, the researchers plan to test the drug treatment with human glioblastoma patients in clinical trials, and hope to use the drugs in a treatment strategy that directly attacks and kills glioblastoma cells.