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Combination Therapy Could Drastically Improve Glioblastoma Survival Rates

Glioblastomas currently account for approximately 15% of all primary brain tumors. Annually, these deadly tumors affect 74,000 people across the globe. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much positive research in terms of preventing imminent death but a new focus in combination therapy could actually improve survival rates among glioblastoma patients. According to The Brain Tumour Charity, […]

Combination Therapy Could Drastically Improve Glioblastoma Survival Rates

Glioblastomas currently account for approximately 15% of all primary brain tumors. Annually, these deadly tumors affect 74,000 people across the globe. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much positive research in terms of preventing imminent death but a new focus in combination therapy could actually improve survival rates among glioblastoma patients.


According to The Brain Tumour Charity, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital are launching a phase I clinical trial in order to test the combination therapy of using both hydroxyurea and temozolomide (TMZ) treatments.


Though using TMZ treatment will improve the survival rate for those with a glioblastoma tumor, 90% of the patients who receive only TMZ treatments will still succumb to the deadly disease within five years.


Introducing hydroxyurea with TMZ, however, has significantly reduced tumor growth and actually improved survival rates in 50% of infected animals.


“Hydroxyurea has been used for decades to treat conditions such as sickle cell disease and some types of cancer, so bringing this approach into the clinic should be straightforward,” said Dr. Bakhos A. Tannous, study co-author.


Since the combination of hydroxyurea and TMZ proved to show improvements in all pre-clinical models tested, this combination therapy could soon be tested in humans to improve survival rates and combat glioblastomas tumors. Through these phase I trails, major breakthroughs in the healthcare and scientific sectors could arise.


According to Science Daily, the cell culture experiments found that in addition to improving survival rates, the combination therapy reduced overall glioblastoma cell growth, induced arrest of the cell division by creating breaks in the DNA, shifted the tumor metabolism by decreasing metabolic intermediates, and inhibited enrichment of tumor imitating cells.


We continue to determine whether there are subtypes of glioblastomas that are most likely to respond to combinatorial therapy,” added research leader Dr. Anita Hjelmeland, assistant profession in the Department of Cell, Development, Integrative Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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