Scientists have identified a new drug that stops the recurrent growth of brain tumors

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If a non-metastatic brain tumor – meningioma – recurs after surgery and radiation therapy, the patient has no chance. From these aggressive tumors, which occur in up to 20% of cases and can lead to disability or even death of the patient, no drugs are approved.

But now scientists from Northwestern Medicine in international collaboration with scientists from the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Hong Kong have discovered drug what inhibits the growth of the most aggressive meningiomas and how to most accurately determine which meningiomas will respond to the drug.

The drug is a new treatment for cancer called abemacyclib.

Scientists have demonstrated the effectiveness of the drug in individual patients, mouse models, 3D living brain tissue tumor (arganoids) and cell culture.

The researchers found that meningiomas can be divided into molecular subgroups with different clinical outcomes and recurrence rates. This new method of tumor classification allows scientists to predict recurrence more accurately than the current method of tumor classification.

Currently, after surgery, doctors examine a tumor sample under a microscope and evaluate its aggressiveness by 1, 2 or 3 marks. But the estimate is only about 70% accurate, which means some tumors will behave in a way that doesn’t match how they look under a microscope.

“Our study determines which patients we should treat with this drug because their tumor is more likely to respond to it,” said study leader and correspondent Dr. Stephen Megill, an associate professor of neurological surgery at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. . Physician of Northwestern Medicine. “We now have the potential to give them options and hope for a longer life without symptoms.”

Megill is also a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

The document was published today in Genetics of nature.

Meningiomas are the most common primary (non-metastatic) tumor in the central nervous system, affecting approximately 31,000 people. meningioma every year in the US Symptoms include headaches, seizures, or neurological deficits (weakness, vision loss, diplopia, or sensory changes).

The drug is a cell cycle inhibitor, which means that it blocks the cell division cycle and inhibits tumor growth.

“Eventually, we hope to adapt medical therapy to the genetic changes in each person’s meningioma,” Megil said.

The researchers studied the molecular changes in the tumor to understand what stimulates its growth, and developed treatments aimed at the Achilles heel of the tumor.

“We can find a weakness in this tumor, insert a stick into the spokes and stop it growing,” Magil said.

A new study was conducted by profiling DNA methylation and RNA sequencing on 565 meningiomas. This allowed researchers to see which genes are expressed by the tumor and the level of expression by detecting the DNA signature.

“Having done that, we identified three separate groups of meningiomas based on their biology,” Magil said. “For each group, we identified a different biological mechanism that promotes tumor growth, with each group having different clinical outcomes.”

These groups differ from the previous evaluation system and are “more accurate in predicting clinical tumor behavior,” Megill said.

This was discovered by scientists aggressive tumors have multiple molecular changes in the overall cell division pathway, allowing cells to divide more and return after surgery.

“We were wondering if we could stop the growth of tumors by inhibiting this pathway,” Magil said. “We tested this in a variety of ways and found that this was true in patients, mouse models and cell cultures.”

Mice with meningiomas receiving the drug lived longer and their tumors did not grow as fast. The drug was also misused as a compassionate use in several patients whose tumors had shrunk in size and whose symptoms had improved, suggesting the drug should be considered for clinical trials, Megill said.

The next steps in the study are to confirm these findings in additional populations and build on them to determine whether we can use molecular features to predict which meningioma patients need to be irradiated in addition to surgery.

Scientists plan to translate these findings and techniques to make this molecular profiling generalized and accessible to all meningioma patients.

The researchers confirmed their findings in an independent cohort collaborating with researchers from the University of Hong Kong.


Immunotherapy delays disease progression in high-grade meningiomas


Additional information:
Meningioma DNA methylation groups identify biological factors and therapeutic vulnerabilities, Genetics of nature (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41588-022-01061-8.pdf

Citation: Scientists identify new drug that stops recurrent growth of brain tumors (2022, May 9), received May 9, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-scientists-drug-halts-recurring -brain.html

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