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avastinDURHAM, N.C. -- Avastin, a relatively new type of drug that shrinks cancerous tumors by cutting off their blood supply, can slow the growth of the most common and deadly form of brain cancer, a pilot study conducted at Duke University Medical Center has found.
The study marks the first time that Avastin has been tested against brain tumors, the researchers said. The drug, whose chemical name is bevacizumab, currently is used to treat lung and colorectal cancers.

The researchers tested the effectiveness of Avastin in conjunction with a standard chemotherapy agent in patients with recurrent cancerous brain tumors called gliomas. They found that the two drugs together halted tumor growth up to twice as long as comparative therapies. Though gliomas remain incurable in nearly all cases, the combined drug therapy may buy precious time and preserve physical and mental function longer for patients facing this grim diagnosis, the researchers said.

Study finds drug Avastin helps brain tumors

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avastinAvastin, one of a new family of drugs that starves tumors of their blood supply, can slow the growth of the most common and deadly form of brain cancer, researchers reported on Monday.

Avastin combined with standard chemotherapy could temporarily stop the growth of brain tumors known as gliomas, the researchers reported in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Made by Genentech under the chemical name bevacizumab, Avastin is currently approved to treat lung and colorectal cancers.

Eli Lilly stops trial of brain cancer drug

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brain cancer BOSTON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY.N) said on Thursday that it has stopped a trial of its experimental brain cancer drug after a monitoring committee determined the treatment would probably prove no more effective than chemotherapy in delaying progression of the disease.

Lilly said an interim analysis of data from a late-stage, or Phase III, study suggested the drug, enzastaurin, would not stave off an aggressive and recurrent form of brain cancer known as recurrent glioblastoma any better than chemotherapy.

The company said it will continue enrolling patients in a late-stage trial to evaluate enzastaurin as a potential treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It will also continue mid-stage trials of the drug in other cancers, such as breast, colon, lung, ovarian and prostate.

source - Reuters 

Brain cancer study may lead to therapy

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brain cancerBALTIMORE, MD, United States (UPI) -- U.S. and Italian scientists have inhibited human brain cancers in mice by inducing positive changes in cells behaving as cancer stem cells.

The most common type of brain cancer -- glioblastoma -- is marked by the presence of the stem cell-like brain cells, which, instead of triggering the replacement of damaged cells, form cancer tissue.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Milan in Italy used bone morphogenic proteins, which cause neural stem cell-like clusters to lose their stem cell property, which, in turn, stops their ability to divide.

New Research Yields Clues to Brain Cancer

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brain cancerHealthDay News -- Armed with findings from experiments in mice, researchers say they've gained key insights into potential treatments for the deadliest form of brain cancer.

Italian and American scientists say they've identified a protein that may reduce tumor growth by targeting cells that help bring cancer to life.

There aren't any immediate ramifications for doctors and patients. However, "we have identified a novel strategy for the treatment of malignant, incurable human brain tumors which could potentially lead to more effective therapies," said Angelo L. Vescovi, lead author of the study and a researcher at University of Milan-Bicocca in Italy.

New treatment for brain cancer

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brain cancerResearchers at the University of Calgary say they’ve fine-tuned a death sentence for brain cancer cells.

The new treatment virus that’s been tested on mice is able to hunt down elusive cancer cells that have spread from the mother tumour while sparing surrounding healthy cells, say the scientists who’ve developed the process.

The approach also pioneers an intravenous delivery rather than injecting the curative virus directly into the tumour, said the U of C’s Dr. Peter Forsyth, a medical oncologist.


by Kristina Collins, 12 Oct 2006

Malignant glioma is the most common primary brain tumor. The outlook for patients with malignant glioma is poor. Median survival for patients with grade III glioma is three to five years and less than one year for the most aggressive form of malignant glioma called glioblastoma multiforme.

The virus or reovirus that the researchers are focusing on is a common virus in humans that inhabits the lungs and intestines. The researchers added that this virus is something that most humans have been exposed to by adulthood but demonstrates no illness or negative effects on us.

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