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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £35 million a year

Research announced on new dual drug treatment for DIPG

The Guardian is today reporting that a new dual-drug treatment is offering hope to children diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

A team of scientists and doctors at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, has found that using a skin cancer drug and a blood cancer drug together could be effective in combating this deadly form of paediatric brain cancer.

The breakthrough research was revealed in the journal Cancer Discovery and was funded by a range of cancer charities. It has been described as “promising” by cancer experts.

In the new research, lab tests found the combination of two existing cancer drugs – dasatinib for leukaemia and trametinib for melanoma – slowed the growth of DIPG tumours. The treatments are known as MEK inhibitors.

Professor Chris Jones, a professor of paediatric brain tumour biology at the ICR, said: “Our findings will need to be validated further in the lab, but because we are using existing approved drugs that we know are safe, we hope it won’t be too long before the new treatment enters clinical trials.”

The article can be read at www.theguardian.com/science/2021/nov/05/dual-drug-treatment-offers-hope-to-children-with-rare-brain-cancer 

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