Treatment of malignant brain tumor in children gets closer

February 28, 2017

DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) is a rare malignant cerebral tumour in children. It has only a 1% 5-year survival rate, amongst other things because it is not possible to operate because the tumour is located in the brain stem. Danish researchers have now just published a study in an international journal, Nature Medicine, in which they have investigated the molecular mechanisms that could be the reason why the malignant tumour arises and develops.

"DIPG is a terrible disease with very poor survival. Before we can identify a treatment, we need to understand the mechanisms underlying the formation and growth of the tumour. We have now made a major step forward and we also have ideas for possible treatment," says Prof. Kristian Helin, Director of the Biotech Research and Innovation Center.

Hope for clinical trials in the near future

DIPG tumours are a type of cancer in which there are mutations in the so-called histone proteins. One of these is the H3K27M protein that could be the cause of the malignant brain tumour. In order to identify the specific mechanisms, researchers created a special mouse model based on the same genetic changes found in the brain tumour. This enabled them to gain a general understanding of the behaviour of the tumour and also to test possible treatments.

"We have identified a possible method for treating this type of tumour. We know of a substance that is being trialled right now for another type of tumour. This substance is a so-called inhibitor for the EZH2 protein. We have tested the inhibitor on the mouse models and on cell lines from human tissue samples and have seen efficacy in both. The next step will be to collect preclinical data so that we can make a start on clinical trials," says Kristian Helin.

The research team, including the lead author of the study, postdoc Faizaan Mohammad, has already established a collaboration with an American biotech company which is currently testing the inhibitor in a Phase II trial on B-cell lymphomas. The researchers hope to collect sufficient preclinical data next year to be able to start on clinical trials.

University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to