Restraining Brain Cancer Resistance

Glioblastoma TRAIL resistance counteracted with ligase inhibitor

(RxWiki News) All of the drugs used to treat glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, tend to use the same method of attack on a highly resistant point. Traditionally this has not gone very well.

Painstaking laboratory research has finally found a way to deactivate that force field that protects glioblastoma cells so well. While still not ready for clinical application, the findings represent a breakthrough in the science of chemotherapy resistance.

"Ask your oncologist about which clinical trials available."

Emory University neuropathologist Chunhai Hao, M.D., Ph.D., detailed the elaborate molecular mechanisms of his lab work in cell cultures in research published in the online journal Cancer Discovery on January 24, 2012.

Current chemotherapy drugs, such as tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), are blocked by a protein in glioblastoma known as A20 E3 ligase.

Dr. Hao's research shows a way to deactivate this protein, allowing the chemotherapy to kill the cancer cell.

Glioblastoma, one of the most common types of brain cancers, has few therapy options .

"Scientists in this field have been hoping to treat this cancer with this new type of apoptosis [programmed cell death] pathway-targeted therapeutic drug, and this new information may provide a path forward," says Dr. Hao.

No financial relationships were disclosed.

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Review Date: 
January 28, 2012