AT/RT and medulloblastoma

Promising target for treating brain tumors in children

Findings published in Oncotarget offer new hope for children with highly aggressive brain tumors like atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) and medulloblastoma.

Photo
Simone Treiger Sredni, MD, PhD, Lurie Children's.

Previously, the authors of the study have shown that an experimental drug that inhibits polo-like kinase 4 (PLK4) stopped pediatric brain tumor growth in vitro. Now, they have demonstrated its success in an animal model – the drug shrank the tumor and increased survival. Importantly, the PLK4 inhibitor was able to cross the blood-brain barrier, which means that the drug can target cancer cells in the brain even when taken orally, avoiding the need for injection into the spinal fluid. In this new study, researchers also demonstrated that when they associate a PLK4 inhibitor with traditional chemotherapy drugs, they kill tumor cells with significantly lower drug doses.

This promising treatment strategy may also help us reduce toxicity when used with other chemotherapy agents

Simone Treiger Sredni

“We are very excited with the outcome of this work,” said lead author Simone Treiger Sredni, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and cancer researcher at the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “This promising treatment strategy may also help us reduce toxicity when used with other chemotherapy agents.”

In a previous study, Sredni and colleagues were the first to describe PLK4 as a therapeutic target for brain tumors and in pediatric cancer. They found that, in these particular types of tumors, PLK4 regulates tumor growth and the tumor’s tendency to metastasize.

AT/RT is a therapy resistant brain tumor that mostly occurs in infants. Medulloblastoma is the most frequent malignant brain tumor in children and current treatments for it are highly toxic. Both of these types of brain tumors have a high mortality rate. “New targeted therapies are urgently needed for children with AT/RT and medulloblastoma,” said Sredni. “We expect that targeting PLK4 will prove to be an effective and less toxic treatment approach for these children, and we hope to move to a clinical trial soon.”


Source: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

29.11.2017

Related articles

From nanotechnology

A better prognostic tool for brain cancer

A new nano-fabricated platform for observing brain cancer cells provides a much more detailed look at how the cells migrate and a more accurate post-surgery prognosis for brain cancer (glioblastoma)…

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Muscle cancer - or is it?

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital oncologists have discovered the cell type that gives rise to rhabdomyosarcoma, the most prevalent soft tissue cancer in children. Previously, scientists…

Neuro-oncology

Study provides better understanding of how brain tumors ‘feed’

All cancer tumors have one thing in common – they must feed themselves to grow and spread, a difficult feat since they are usually in a tumor microenvironment with limited nutrients and oxygen. A…

Related products

Research use only (RUO)

Eppendorf - Mastercycler nexus X2

Eppendorf AG

Research use only (RUO)

Shimadzu - CLAM-2000

Shimadzu Europa GmbH