- Mitochondria are responsible for creating the energy that fuels all cells. Though they are usually less efficient at producing energy in cancer, tumour cells in a newly identified type of glioblastoma (which forms up to 20% of diagnosed glioblastomas) rely on the extra energy provided by overactive mitochondria to survive. This study found that drugs that inhibit mitochondria--including a currently available drug and an experimental compound that are being tested in clinical trials - had a powerful anti-tumour effect on human brain cancer cells with overactive mitochondria.
- In a widely reported story this week a study has described how a common parasite people get from contaminated water and undercooked meat may be associated with rare brain cancers. There was evidence that people infected with Toxoplasma gondii, or T. gondii, have a higher risk of developing rare but frequently fatal gliomas. The parasite can sometimes form cysts in the brain and the inflammation associated with these cysts might be responsible for the tumour. This story was in the Daily Mail and, look away now cat lovers this is how they reported it “Common parasite spread by CATS and undercooked meat may increase your risk of brain cancer”
- A couple of newly published clinical papers now “Survival outcomes and safety of carmustine wafers in the treatment of high-grade gliomas: a meta-analysis” and “Very low mutation burden is a feature of inflamed recurrent glioblastomas responsive to cancer immunotherapy”
- Next news of a grant awarded to research groups in Switzerland and Norway to identify novel treatment strategies for children with aggressive DMG/DIPG brain tumours
- A short piece of industry news here concerning ONC-201, an oral small molecule dopamine receptor D2 antagonist and caseinolytic protease agonist currently being tested in a Phase II trial against recurrent glioma. Worth clicking through for an idea of the eye-boggling sums needed en route to bringing new drugs to market.
In a quieter week than normal, and with an inclement weekend ahead that will be perfect for indoor reading and relaxing, I am sure you will find these, wider but still relatable, items of interest;
- 25 years ago, a mutation was discovered that makes some people susceptible to cancer, and now it has transformed treatment – “How race to track mystery gene with links to three cancers saved millions”
- Ever since scientists realised that changes in DNA cause cancer, they have been searching for an easy way to correct those changes by manipulating DNA - “How CRISPR Is Changing Cancer Research and Treatment”
- Finally, news of a dating-style app tech for brain scan research
What will be the impact of these three research areas?
They could have a huge impact for brain tumour patients!
What they all go to show now though is that research is vital– research underpins all that we are looking to achieve, and it will underpin our vision at Brain Tumour Research to find a cure for brain tumours.
- Our vision, mission and values
- How can understanding mitochondria help scientists predict metastatic brain tumours?
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