Replication stress, blocking immune checkpoints and a phase 1 /2 trial shows promise in GBM

5 min read

On Wednesday in the House of Commons, Siobhain McDonagh MP used the ten-minute rule, which allows a backbench MP to make the case for a new bill, to present a Brain Tumour Bill.   

Ms McDonagh, a member of the APPG on Brain Tumours, and who spoke at March’s Brain Tumour Debate, has been driving her brain tumour agenda forward in memory of her sister Margaret, Baroness McDonagh who died in June from a glioblastoma aged 61. 

The Bill’s aims are:   

  • The setting of a target for the number of glioblastoma patients who take part in clinical trials each year;   
  • The requirement of training for medical oncologists to include training relating to brain cancers;   
  • A provision that any drug that has been licensed for use on tumours must be trialled on people with brain tumours;  
  • A further provision is made in relation to neuro-oncology multidisciplinary teams in the NHS, including a requirement that each such team must include a medical oncologist;  
  • The requirement of manufacturers of drugs licensed to treat tumours to make those drugs available in specified circumstances for clinical trials relating to brain tumours; and for connected purposes.”   

A group of MPs will support Ms McDonagh with the Bill which will have its second reading on Friday 24th November 


Study suggests a potential strategy to combat aggressive brain tumours. A new study published in Nature Communications, has unravelled a crucial link between how cancer cells cope with replication stress and the role of Taurine Upregulated Gene 1 (TUG1). By targeting TUG1 with a drug, researchers were able to control brain tumour growth in mice. The lead researcher, Professor Yutaka Suzuki, said: “These findings have the potential to be translated into therapeutic applications, as TUG1 is highly expressed in glioblastoma. In this study, we successfully developed a therapeutic drug named TUG1-DDS, which selectively targets TUG1. It significantly suppressed tumour growth and improved survival, especially when administered in combination with the standard treatment of temozolomide. Therefore, it is a potentially effective therapeutic agent for treating glioblastoma." 


Blocking TIM-3 checkpoint molecule promotes antitumor immune response in diffuse intrinsic stem glioma. Researchers from Cima and the Clínica Universidad de Navarra, together with the international cooperative group Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG-ACT), have confirmed that blocking an immune checkpoint molecule reduces the tumour and prolongs survival in animal models of the most aggressive childhood cancer. Published in Cancer Cell, this research shows that inhibition of TIM-3 promotes the immune memory of diffuse intrinsic stem glioma (DIPG) and improves the prognosis of the disease. 

Phase 1/2 Trial of Olaptesed Pegol Shows Potential in Glioblastoma. Olaptesed pegol (known as NOX-A12) shows potential as a treatment for adult patients with glioblastoma (GBM) when used in combination with bevacizumab (Avastin) and radiotherapy. Findings from the phase 1/2 GLORIA (NCT04121455) study show an overall survival rate of 50% at 18 months after the start of therapy. This number is expected to increase to 67% after the next patient reaches 18 months of survival. In contrast, 5% of patients receiving the standard of care for GBM reached 18 months after treatment initiation, according to a press release from TME Pharma, study sponsor and manufacturer of NOX-A12. The study has an estimated completion date of December 2024. Full update found here. 


Optune multi-professional & patient update day 12th December 2023 

The day is open to all staff, patients and carers interested in or using Optune in the UK, irrespective of tumour site, routine care or clinical trial status. 

Topics covered will include: 

  • New and updated evidence on Optune 
  • Current and future clinical trials 
  • Practical aspects of using Optune 
  • Real-world data on Optune use 
  • Patient and carer views 

In person at Charing Cross Hospital, and online. For more information or to reserve a space, click here 

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