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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

Tissue repair, repurposing, biosimilars and clottingWorldwide research update

Following the analysis of cells from 26 glioblastoma patients, a Canadian study has concluded that the healing process that kicks in after a stroke, trauma, infection or other brain injury, can actually trigger the development of these brain tumours. Their findings suggest that mutations can derail the process which is supposed to create new cells to replace those that have been lost — and spur on tumour growth. Paper author and neurosurgeon, Peter Dirks of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, said: “Glioblastoma can be thought of as a wound that never stops healing. We’re excited about what this tells us about how cancer originates and grows and it opens up entirely new ideas about treatment by focusing on the injury and inflammation response.” The team hope that the discovery may pave the way towards new tailored therapies for individual brain cancer patients. Read more about this exciting work here

Really interesting stuff reported here as, in cell culture work, loperamide, a drug commonly used against diarrhoea, has proved effective against glioblastoma cells. The research team has unravelled the drug's mechanisms of action of cell death induction and - in doing so - has shown how this compound could help attack brain tumours thus opening new avenues for the development of novel treatment strategies

Plenty of industry news this week starting with  CNS Pharmaceuticals who plan to begin a trial to evaluate the efficacy of Berubicin in patients with glioblastoma who have failed initial treatment for their cancer. The study is expected to compare Berubicin to the standard-of-care chemotherapy Gleostine (lomustine) 

Patient enrolment has been completed in Humanigen’s Phase 1 bioimaging study of ifabotuzumab to treat recurrent glioblastoma. The primary goal of the trial was to evaluate the safety of ifabotuzumab and to recommend a dose for a potential Phase 2 study, either with ifabotuzumab or an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) based on ifabotuzumab

TLX101, is a molecularly targeted radiation that has been used to treat eight patients in Australia and Europe with recurrent glioblastoma. Telix Pharmaceuticals now plans to accelerate the development of this radiopharmaceutical after encouraging early clinical trial results. “We are very encouraged by these first dose cohort results,” said Telix chief medical officer Dr Colin Hayward, “we have seen clear evidence of anti-tumour effect at relatively low doses with no dosimetry or side-effect profile that would prevent planned higher therapeutic doses.”

Innovent Biologics has announced that BYVASDA®  a bevacizumab biosimilar, has been officially approved by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China for the treatment of adult recurrent glioblastoma. Since the launch of bevacizumab (sold under the brand name Avastin), it has been approved for the treatment of patients with multiple malignant tumours globally and the launch of BYVASDA®  has provided Chinese patients with high quality and a relatively more affordable bevacizumab biosimilar injection. Dr Hui Zhou, Vice President of Oncology Strategy and Medical Sciences of Innovent, said: "We hope to bring this high-quality and cost-saving drug to more patients in need in China. We are looking forward to working together to make BYVASDA® benefit more patients globally."

Brain metastases can only develop if cancer cells first exit the fine blood vessels and enter into the brain tissue. To facilitate this step, cancer cells influence blood clotting, as Heidelberg scientists from the German Cancer Research Centre and from Heidelberg University Hospital have now been able to show in mice. The cancer cells actively promote the formation of clots, which helps them to arrest in the brain capillaries and then penetrate through the vessel wall. Drugs that inhibit the clotting factor thrombin were able to reduce the number of brain metastases in this experimental model.

The 19th International Symposium on Paediatric Neuro-Oncology (ISPNO) has just concluded and from today (8th January) all keynotes, special lectures, forums and more will be available via on-demand viewing. You need to establish a login ID to view the programme and you can register to view here and there is a taster video to view here

Finally, this week Brain Tumour Research has teamed up with Brain Research UK and Epilepsy Research UK to offer you the chance to take part in the  #Brainathlon – the perfect event to show what you have managed to achieve with your New Year’s Resolution!

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