Combination Therapy Using Existing Drug Can Help Treat Aggressive Brain Cancer

Combination therapy using existing drug can help treat aggressive brain cancer. Glioblastoma is a type of cancer that progresses very quickly and able to “resist” treatment. Temozolomide is commonly used to treat glioblastoma which is found to be as less effective as one might hope.

Temozolomide modifies DNA to stop certain proteins from revealing that allow the tumors to develop and spread. It is found that some tumor cells often become TMZ’s treatment-resistant, affecting patient survival rates.

Now, a new discovery by researchers from the University of Chicago in Illinois shows that Acetazolamide (brand name Diamox) – a water pill used to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness and other health problems, such as glaucoma and even seizures – restrain the glioblastoma cells’ resistance, increasing TMZ’s effect.

Director of the research Dr. Bahktiar Yamini explained that acetazolamide is “cheap to make, easy to take, and has limited side effects,” so it would be a suitable curative support.

“We tested this combination treatment strategy in several animal models,” Dr. Yamini said.

The research results’ findings are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The team explained, “This strategy, cured some of the mice, while other animals saw a 30–40 percent increase in survival time following the combination treatment.”

“An important feature of predictors like BCL-3 is that they are informative, they can identify pathways to improve treatment response,” explain the researchers.” “Our data show that it is the “induction of carbonic anhydrase II by TMZ that is important in modulating response to therapy” the team adds.