New drug combination shows promise for common pediatric brain tumor

ScienceDaily | 3/21/2019 | Staff
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Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine combined carboplatin, a standard chemotherapy drug that works well against these brain tumors, and everolimus, which blocks an enzyme called mTOR that was shown in earlier research to fuel the growth of these tumors. The combination increased DNA damage and cell death in laboratory models. Their findings were published in the Feb. 14, 2019, issue of Neuro-Oncology.

Pediatric low-grade glioma is the most common brain tumor in children and can often be treated with surgery alone. However, some patients have tumors in locations that make surgery too risky, such as near optic nerves or in the mid-brain area, or have their tumors grow back after surgery.

Eric - Raabe - MD - PhD - Associate

Eric Raabe, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of oncology and pediatric brain tumor expert at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, says tumors recur in about 50 percent of patients treated for low-grade glioma and require additional treatment with chemotherapy. Recurring tumors are often resistant to chemotherapy. The researchers wondered whether combining carboplatin and everolimus would be more effective.

When treated with carboplatin alone, four different human cell lines of low grade glioma cancer cells did not respond to the drug or kept growing. Similarly, some cell lines were resistant to everolimus alone.

Cell - Lines - Combination - Carboplatin - Everolimus

When they treated the same cell lines with a combination of carboplatin and everolimus, the cells died or...
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