Weekly pick of brain tumour research news from around the world

1 min read

News from the US suggests that in cases of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) there is an increase in the effectiveness of the most common treatments with the addition of lumefantrine, an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) - approved drug used to treat malaria. Consequently the headline is anti-malarial drug shows promise for brain cancer treatment

A clinician scientist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge has won an international award for laboratory work into brain tumours. Through a series of experiments, and  genetic sequencing, he and his colleagues were able to identify novel glioma drivers.

It is a headline grabbing quote however there is a brain tumour connection as scientists say they may have found a skinny gene. A genetic variant unique to thin individuals has been identified - the ALK gene. The ALK gene makes a protein called anaplastic lymphoma kinase, which is involved in cell growth. This mutated form of the ALK gene and protein can drive the development of cancer tumours indeed mutated forms of the gene and protein have been found in neuroblastoma.

We have  updated you on research into cannabis and brain tumours many times – here’s how The Daily Star are reporting it - Cannabis found to fight brain cancer as drug helps humans and dogs

In industry news you can find out more about a GBM trail being undertaken in China. This is being hailed as a potential treatment for GBM patients effectively inducing T cells, especially naïve and memory T cells, and correcting lymphopenia in patients with late stage solid tumours.

We have reported on similar research before but it does bear repeating as Novel CAR-T research uses scorpion toxin to target brain tumours The lack of targetable tumour antigens is one obstacle for CAR T-cell therapy in brain tumours, however one naturally occurring substance has been identified as a novel treatment target: chlorotoxin. Chlorotoxin is a component of the venom produced by the death stalker scorpion, and it has been shown to bind to glioblastoma cells in previous studies.

From the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Neuro-Oncology Branch at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Dr. Mark Gilbert is a great figure in the brain tumour world, who we have been lucky to meet on several occasions, here he talks  about clinical trials and why they are absolutely essential to treat people with brain tumours

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