An experimental oral drug significantly delayed the growth of a malignant type of brain tumour, a major advance in treating brain cancers that have progressed for decades and have high rates of disability and early death.
and showed study Patients with grade 2 gliomas who took vorasidenib from Servier Pharmaceuticals after surgery and before undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy reported a significant improvement Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
According to the study, the development and growth of cancer cells was delayed for more than twice as long compared to patients who did not take this drug.
The study showed that by delaying tumor growth, the drug also lengthened the time patients, who are often relatively healthy young adults, could wait before starting chemotherapy and radiation.
Thus, this drug can help delay cognitive decline, memory loss and other side effects that can accompany metastatic brain cancer, according to the study.
This drug works, as the study showed, as an inhibitor of the two enzymes IDH1 and IDH2, which show initial activity in mutant IDH gliomas, and the drug penetrates the tumor site through the blood-brain barrier.
According to the study, gliomas are the most common malignant primary brain tumors in adults and are classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) into distinct tumor subtypes and tumor grades according to a range of histological and molecular features.
The study showed that the enzymes IDH1 and IDH2 are present in almost all metastatic grade II gliomas in adults.
According to the study, more than 80 percent of patients with grade II glioma have cancers with mutations in a gene called IDH that promote tumor growth.
The study showed that most drugs cannot cross the protective layer of vessels and tissues known as the blood-brain barrier to reach the tumor, and the small number of infected patients makes it difficult to conduct large trials.
The trial included 331 patients with mutated grade II glioma who had some residual tumor tissue or reappeared after surgery. Patients from 77 health centers in 10 countries participated.
About 168 patients took the drug as a daily pill, while about 163 patients took the placebo.
For patients who took the experimental drug, the average length of survival without developing cancer was about 28 months, compared to 11 months for patients who took a placebo.
Within two years, the probability of not needing additional treatment was about 83 percent for patients taking the drug, compared to 27 percent for patients taking a placebo.
The study indicated that to treat grade II gliomas, doctors usually remove as much of the cancer as possible with surgery. Then they monitor the growth of the tumors or treat them with chemotherapy and radiation, but these tumors are not curable and often come back, sometimes after years.
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