Mebendazole is an old, cheap, easily available drug approved for treating worm infestations. This paper (and many others) suggest it might be useful for treatments brain tumors, especially when combined with radiation. This article is about meningiomas but other articles mention GBM and Medulloblastomas!
In the case presented, the patient had a GBM but was allergic to Temodar so they had to try something different. They tried erltinib and Optune, which has resulted in stable disease for at least 9 months after radiation. It is only 1 case but shows brilliant thinking on the part of this patient's team. They chose Optune, which is the obvious choice, but since the patient overexpressed EGFR, they also added erlotinib. More research needs to be done on such combinations of Optune and therapies personalized to the patient!
This is just in mice at this point but it is an exciting new approach. I wish them luck and will be following this!
Adding Valproic Acid to the standard radiation and Temodar for GBM might help a lot without adding any more long term problems.
I am a little biased on this one as we gave them 3 grants - including our largest ever - to help get them to this point. They will be presenting 10 abstracts at next week's Society for Neuro-Oncology conference in New Orleans. This experimental drug - Onc-201 is the first of it's class - a DRD2/ DRD3 antagonist. Early results were very impressive, and we are hoping they present exciting news next week!
This study shows that biopsy of DIPG is not as dangerous as we thought. Years ago it was never done due to the dangers involved but with advances in pediatric neurosurgery, this study shows that in 53 patients, 2 had problems in surgery that resolved, and only 1 had long term neurological deficit. Of course if you are that one out of 53, it is horrible, but kids with this tumor all develop neuro problems and most die quickly. In the past it was not worth the risk as even if they were able to do a biopsy, it wouldn't matter much as there were no treatments anyway. Now we have access to a lot of targeted treatments that may help.
This is early work but since it is an approved drug for a different disease, it should be easy and fast to test as it can be used off label. I added it as a choice in the virtual trial so if anyone tries it, record it in our virtual trial registry so we can get an idea of if it helps or not. (Virtualtrials.com click on virtual trial)
This is one of my favorite trials and has just opened up in CA, MA and FL in addition to NC. The pediatric version is still only in NC.
Disclaimer: I am on the advisory board of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University, and have given grants towards these projects.
These events are always interesting to watch!
This type of treatment worked miracles in other types of cancer. The first attempt in human glioblastoma wasn't spectacular but these researchers may have found a way to make it work at least in dogs and rats. Lets hope it translates to people!
This one is hard to interpret. The authors say that a low dose is just as effective as the standard dose of Avastin, but with less side effects (and less cost). They should have included the control gorup of patients who do not use Avastin. But it is something to think about.
This shows that Optune has finally hit the mainstream. 55 presentations at the major European brain tumor conference. Many of these are looking at ways to improve the outcomes, including new types of arrays, new placement of arrays for tumors lower in the skill and for pediatric patients.
This is the drug that we recently gave a million dollar grant to help support and speed up it's development! The mutation (H3K27 M) is very common in DIPG, and common in midline and thalmic malignant gliomas, more so in younger GBM patients. This experimental drug is in clinical trials. Check your pathology report to see if you have this mutation. If you do, contact us and we can help you find a trial. (It is so common in DIPG that no biopsy is needed to get into the trials for that tumor type - it is assumed they all have this)
I love this type of research. Invadopoia are small projections from the edges of tumnor cells that help allow them to move. Without the ability to move, the tumor is much less dangerous and more sensitive to normal treatments. This is a highly underappreciated target and they found 2 existing drugs which may target this. Of course, it is just theory now and needs to be tested but it is a promising approach!
Dr Schulder will be speaking about the new version of the Gamma Knife, but will also answer questions on any brain tumor related topic!
I am a big fan of Optune. It is the most effective approved treatment for gbms, but it is not good enough by itself. We need to find ways to make it work better. There are about 16 clinical trials going on now that involve Optune and ways to make it work better. Any of these trials are worthwhile to try. Experiments like this are needed to identify candidates for the trials.
This is a new STAT3 inhibitor. STAT3 has been known as a good target for brain tumors but until now we did not have a good drug to target it. This was just the first in human doses of the drug so it is way too early to tell if it will work, but it may become an important tool in the ultimate cocktail.
Researchers at Duke identified why brain tumor patients have such low t cell counts - as low as that of AIDs patients. Now we just need to figure out how to use this information!
I would like to emphasis that this is a collaboration between the Musella Foundation, the Cure Starts Now Foundation, and the Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation! we couldn't have done this without them.