Scientists find better treatment for brain cancer

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Scientists from the University of Virginia found a “game-changer” in the treatment of a pair of deadly brain tumors, and the discovery could lead to better treatments for other solid tumors as well.

The research is published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer and was conducted by Dr. Daniel “Trey” Lee et al.

In the study, the research is focusing on two kinds of tumors—called glioblastoma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, sometimes referred to as DIPG—that lack effective treatments.

On average, less than 7% of patients with glioblastoma survive five years, and, for children, life expectancy with DIPG is only nine months after diagnosis.

The researchers are seeking to enhance a treatment known as CAR T-cell immunotherapy that is already being used to fight other cancers, such as types of leukemia and lymphoma.

The process weaponizes the body’s T cells, a type of immune system cell, to seek out and kill cancer cells.

The new research has identified vulnerabilities in these solid brain tumors that could make CAR T-cell immunotherapy effective against them as well.

The team says researchers have struggled for decades to find new therapies to treat these cancers.

This work strongly suggests that CAR T cells could be highly active in treating glioblastoma and DIPG.

This CAR T-cell therapy could be a game-changer for deadly brain tumors, much like a different CAR T-cell product shifted the paradigm for how we treat patients with relapsed leukemia and lymphoma.

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy weaponizes our natural immune cells to make them more effective cancer killers.

It extracts a small number of white blood cells, called T cells, from a patient’s blood, then genetically modifies them to kill cancer.

Those cells are then infused back into the patient, where they replicate into a vast army of cancer killers. The entire process takes about two weeks, as opposed to other processes that can take months.

CAR T-cell immunotherapy has had significant success in battling blood cancers, but it has been less effective against solid tumors.

The new finding could enhance its ability to target these tumors that now resist CAR T-cell treatment.

If you care about brain health, please read studies about how COVID affects the brain, and these common habits can make your brain age fast.

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