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M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Makes Advances in Treatment of Gloioblastoma Brain Tumors Including Drugs and Proton Therapy

May 9th 2006

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Makes Advances in Treatment of Gloioblastoma Brain Tumors Including Drugs and Proton Therapy

Proton Therapy Center

There are some promising new treatments for glioblastoma, the most common and deadly of brain tumors, according to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas.  The researchers at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center believe they are poised on the brink of a new era, and that glioblastoma is finally giving up some secrets.

The report says that the researchers have found a new chemotherapy drug that works best in patients who have no expression of a specific genetic alteration.  The researchers are investigating 20,000 genes and proteins that may play a role in brain tumor development.

Another amazing development includes a vaccine that tricks the immune system into attacking a protein found on glioblastoma cells.  They have designed a virus to spread rapidly through the extended fingers of the brain tumor, killing the cancer while leaving the normal tissue in tact. They plan to open a clinical trial soon on this vaccine.   


Another experimental approach being considered involves a chemotherapy drug that can seep through the brain-blood barrier and latch on to the tumor cells.  The researchers at the M. D. Anderson center are also refining current brain tumor therapies with next generation technology.  One area involves a proton synchrotron particle accelerator that will be online in 2006.  This treatment will offer the most “precise radiation therapy available, as will a new suite of neurosurgical devices featuring real-time imaging that surgeons can use to navigate inside the brain.”

The doctors at the Brain Tumor center are hopeful but realistic.  They say that even the finest surgery, medical and radiation treatments are not enough.  Next-generation drugs must be developed to change the forecast for most glioblastoma patients. 


They hope to design and disarm the numerous pathways brain tumors use to thrive. Dr. Raymond Sawaya says "There will be no magic bullet to treat brain cancer. The answer is not going to come from one approach. We have to test and prefect many different avenues for treatment, and hit the right combination of multiple drugs and therapies that works best for each individual patient."

Professor and chair of the Department of Neuro-oncology, W. K. Alfred Yung, M.D, says “We are just now on the cusp of understanding much more about the molecular biology of the disease.  What we are learning right now can only improve our ability to treat each tumor, and each patient."

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM