Treatment for deadly brain tumor found

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WASHINGTON - Rhode Island Hospital researchers have identified a treatment in animal models for glioblastomas - deadly brain tumors.

Such tumors which, once diagnosed, offer a poor prognosis and relatively short life expectancy.

Researchers, who used a synthetic form of a naturally-occurring hormone combined with chemotherapy, were able to inhibit tumor growth and achieve a 25 percent cure rate.

The study has been published in the Journal of Oncology.

Led by Suzanne de la Monte, MD, MPH, of Rhode Island Hospital, researchers studied the effects of Thymosin Alpha 1, a synthetic form of the naturally occurring hormone Thymosin produced by the thymus gland.

De la Monte, who is also a professor of neuroscience at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, says, “Our hypothesis was that the immune system basically needs a boost to kill the cancer cells. We know that Thymosin is currently being used in Europe to treat cancer, so we set out to see what effect this could have on glioblastomas.”

Co-investigator Jack Wands, MD, also a physician with University Medicine Foundation and a professor Alpert Medical School, says, “In this study we used a natural hormone that’s been produced in the thymus gland, which by itself has no anti-tumor effect and in fact can be harmful in high doses.

What’s important in this study is that we have found with low to moderate doses in combination with a well-known chemotherapeutic agent, it has a striking ability to inhibit the growth of a glioblastoma in animal models.” (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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