Tumour growth stopped in its tracks by novel brain cancer treatment
Research from Monash University’s Department of Neuroscience, led by Dr Mastura Monif, may offer new hope to people with one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer, glioblastoma.
With a prognosis of around 14–15 months survival after diagnosis, this lethal cancer accounts for around 80 per cent of all brain cancers and is a commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 30 and 40.
Existing treatments combine adjuvant therapy and surgery but significantly reduce quality of life and only extend the lives of patients by more than a few months.
Dr Monif and her team are collaborating with researchers and clinicians from Alfred Health, Melbourne Health and the University of Melbourne. Using patient tumour samples, Dr Monif’s team discovered that a protein, P2X7R, inhibits the growth of glioblastoma.
‘In the culture setting, tumours exposed to P2X7R blockers showed a significant reduction in growth and, more importantly, the drug we tested was better than the conventional chemotherapy’,’ said Dr Monif.
Dr Monif believes this novel treatment could be life changing for people affected by glioblastoma and is working to achieve funding for ongoing preclinical studies and hopefully a first-in-human trial.