Making current treatments more effective

4 min read


Researchers identify therapeutic targets to overcome radioresistance of brain cancer cells A team of researchers have unveiled a plausible mechanism underlying the radioresistance of glioblastoma (GBM) cells. The study, published in Cell Reports Medicine, suggests that radioresistant GBM cells prevent mitochondrial lipotoxicity (harmful lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissue) by downregulating DGKB and upregulating DGAT1. They also demonstrated that cladribine sensitises GBM cells to radiotherapy in vitro and in vivo. The study concludes that regulating DGKB and DGAT1 or repurposing cladribine for GBM treatment may overcome resistance to conventional therapies.  

Drug Target Shows Potential to Supercharge Radiotherapy for Glioma Published in Clinical Cancer Research.  A team of scientists at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center has identified a protein called ZMYND8 that boosts the resistance of IDH1-mutant gliomas to radiotherapy. Since radiation kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA, IDH1-mutant gliomas might be able to resist the radiation by producing more ZMYND8. Blocking the gene could lead to treatments that make radiotherapies more effective.

Incurable Cancers: Study Shows How Human Proteins Fight Against Cancer Treatment. In this study, researchers show for the first time how T cells induce the secretion of an immune suppression protein that enables cancer cells to evade the immune response. The study, published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, detailed the crucial role of galectin-9 in anticancer immune evasion and concluded that controlling its production should be considered as a key target for immunotherapy in a large number of cancers.


Brain tumour clinical trial: Failed Alzheimer's drug that boosts effect of radiotherapy to be tested in humans this year. Cancer researchers in Spain are set to launch a clinical trial testing a new combination radiotherapy treatment for brain tumours. A combination of chemoradiotherapy and azeliragon, a drug working as a RAGE inhibitor hoped to block radioresistance of GBM cells, will be tested in newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients in a new phase I/II clinical trial.

Utilising combination treatments to sensitise tumour cells to radiotherapy is a research area that is gathering a lot of interest and promising initial results. Dr Nel Syed, and her team at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Imperial College London, discovered that the drug ADI-PEG20 could improve the effectiveness of radiotherapy for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma, offering the hope of a potential new treatment. 

Clinical trial delivers chemotherapy to paediatric brain tumours using MRI-guided focused ultrasound A team of Toronto researchers and physicians are the first in the world to use MRI-guided focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier and deliver chemotherapy to treat Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an aggressive and terminal paediatric brain tumour. The first paediatric patient recently successfully underwent the procedure as part of a safety and feasibility clinical trial in children with this tumour.


UCL Brain Cancer Seminar Series in collaboration with the University of Toronto

Date: Wednesday 22 February 2023 Time: 12-1pm GMT Location: Zoom (Link is shared after registration)


Hani Marcus - Consultant Neurosurgeon at National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery & Honorary Associate Professor at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology - Technological advances for endoscopic skull base surgery

Ruth Lau Rodriguez - Clinical and Research Fellow of Neurooncology and Skull Base at University of Toronto - Correlation of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) with clinical and radiological characteristics in patients with high-grade brain tumours

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