It’s SNO time plus new papers on Medulloblastoma, Ependymoma and Glioblastoma Research news update

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The virtual, 25th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) is underway and concludes on Saturday so there is still time to find out more about the programme and how to access talks, webinars and presentations.

  • Widely reported this week have been findings that show personalised drug screens can help move away from a one size fits all approach to treating medulloblastoma patients. Personalised drug screens can be used to identify new therapeutic candidates for medulloblastoma, the most common paediatric malignant brain tumour. The approach measures the effectiveness of therapeutics using tumour cells obtained from a biopsy and can be performed in a few days—making it one of the quickest sources of information used in clinical decision-making. Based on this proof-of-concept study a clinical trial using the approach is now planned
  • The third most common malignant paediatric brain tumour is Ependymoma and they are classified into three groups: supratentorial, infratentorial and spinal. Previous research has identified a fusion protein, called C11orf95-RELA, in 70% of supratentorial ependymomas. Fusion proteins are produced when usually separate DNA segments are transcribed together and produce a combined protein. This newly published paper “C11orf95-RELA reprograms 3D epigenome in supratentorial ependymoma,” reveals that the two components of the fusion protein act in concert within the nucleus, with harmful results. These findings conclude that the fusion protein is altering the behaviour of the tumour cells by dictating the genes that will be turned on and off. This gives us a better idea on which aberrantly expressed genes to target in developing novel therapeutics against supratentorial ependymoma
  • “The results we have seen in our pre-clinical work on glioblastoma have continued to be very encouraging,” so says Roby Zomer, co-founder and managing director of MGC Pharma who is moving towards clinical trials for a cannabinoid treatment for glioblastoma following success in pre-clinical trials. The new research will focus on the use of cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) in the treatment of glioblastoma. The CBD and CBG formulations were both found to be effective in producing a cytotoxic (the quality of being toxic to cells) effect on glioblastoma cell visibility and the death of cancer cells. Also, CBD was shown to be an effective inhibitor of glioblastoma cell tumour viability. CBG is efficient in setting off a cascade of biological processes leading to the death or apoptosis (a form of programmed cell death) of glioblastoma cells. All of this has opened up new avenues of research into therapies for glioblastoma, and that can only be a good thing

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