March 1, 2024

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New drug combination may be effective in treating deadly childhood brain cancer

New drug combination may be effective in treating deadly childhood brain cancer



 

New drug combination may be effective in treating deadly childhood brain cancer.

Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, in collaboration with the German Cancer Federation (DKTK) University Hospital Düsseldorf, have made a major discovery against MYC-amplified medulloblastoma.

They have discovered a drug combination that promises to provide more favorable outcomes for children diagnosed with this often fatal form of brain cancer.

 

New drug combination may be effective in treating deadly childhood brain cancer

 

 

MYC-amplified medulloblastoma is a type of brain cancer characterized by an abnormal increase in the MYC gene, which drives tumor growth and spread.

This type of cancer is particularly aggressive and challenging to treat, making it a major concern for patients and their families.

 

“An oncogene called MYC is amplified in these tumors, making them very susceptible to recurrence,” said Siddhartha Mitra, MD, assistant professor of hematology-oncology and bone marrow transplantation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a member of the Cancer Center. Other areas of the brain and the spine are at greater risk. The five-year survival rate for this cancer is less than 45 percent. We want to discover better treatment options for these children.”

Mitra’s team found that two drugs that had already passed phase I safety trials in other solid tumors, when given together, had a significant impact on those tumors.

 

Using the epigenetic drug tacedinaline, the team found that in addition to enabling tumor growth, MYC was also hiding tumors from detection by various immune cells in the body.

They were able to disarm pathways known as “don’t eat me” that prevent macrophages in the immune system from eating tumors. Then they made the tumors more attractive.

 

“When we unlocked these pathways with tacinarin and then added anti-CD47, a drug that makes macrophages super-eaters, the tumor became very attractive to the macrophages, attracting them to eat the An unraveling tumor. You’re essentially tapping into the body’s own immune system and giving it a springboard, much like a medical version of Pac-Man.”

 

Mitra, who is also a member of the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said that while traditional therapies like chemotherapy have previously targeted tumor growth pathways, this is the first time it has been targeted in these types of devastating brain tumors. Immune evasion pathways.

 

Traditional adult cancer drugs do not work well in children because children are still developing and their normal cells divide rapidly.

This combination of drugs has the potential not only to help minimize the negative impact of traditional cancer treatments in children, but also to give patients diagnosed with MYC-amplified medulloblastoma a better chance of survival.

 

The next step, he said, would be a clinical trial to determine the short- and long-term effects of the treatment. In addition to the Mitra lab, the labs of Dr. Sujatha Venkatraman and Prof. Rajeev Vibhakar from CU-Anschutz were also involved.

 

 

 

 

New drug combination may be effective in treating deadly childhood brain cancer

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