The study, conducted at Stanford University in the US, found
that interrupting these signals using an existing seizure medication called Perampanel,
stopped the tumour growth in mice.
“One of the most lethal aspects of high-grade gliomas is that the cancer cells diffusely invade normal brain tissue so that the tumour and the healthy brain tissue are knitted together,” says Michelle Monje, Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University and senior author of the paper, recently published in Nature.
According to A/Prof Monje, this research helps explain why gliomas are so difficult to treat, saying, “This is such an insidious group of tumours. They’re actually integrating into the brain. Discovering that tumours wire themselves into the brain was unsettling.”
“There is real hopefulness to this discovery,” says A/Prof Monje. “Several drugs already exist for treating electrical-signaling disorders such as epilepsy, and these may prove useful for gliomas, We’ve been missing this entire aspect of the disease. Now we have a whole new avenue to explore, one that could complement existing therapeutic approaches.”
Cure Brain Cancer Foundation supported this study via the DIPG Collaborative – a global network of more than 30 brain cancer organisations, of which Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is a founding member. In the last five years The DIPG Collaborative has invested more than $7 million into finding treatments for deadly paediatric brain cancers.
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