Brain Cancer Drugs:
A primary brain tumor is a group
(mass) of abnormal cells that start in
AFINITOR BY NOVARTIS HELPS
SHRANK BENIGN BRAIN TUMORS
More good news for Afinitor.
The Novartis cancer drug shrank
benign brain tumors in a new study,
adding to its arsenal of data
supporting new uses. The Phase III
study of patients with subependymal
giant cell astrocytoma, or SEGA, found
that more than a third of Afinitor users
saw a 50% or greater reduction in the
size of their tumors. No placebo
patients in the study saw a reduction of
Afinitor is already approved in SEGA
associated with the genetic disorder
tuberous sclerosis in the U.S. and 6
other countries, and under the brand
name Votubia in Switzerland. It's
recommended for approval for that use
in the EU.
The new trial lends weight to data from
an earlier stage study, Novartis said.
Of course, Afinitor also has the
regulatory OK as a treatment for
kidney cancer and certain types of
CEREPRO IS A NEW GENE-BASED
DRUG FOR PEOPLE WITH GLIOMA
Cerepro is a novel gene-based
product for the treatment of patients
with operable high grade glioma, a
type of malignant brain tumour, given
in addition to standard surgery and
is manufactured at Ark Therapeutics
facility in Kuopio, Finland.
Cerepro uses a well-established
adenoviral vector (Ad5) to introduce
the gene that causes cells to express a
protein called thymidine kinase (TK).
Following the standard surgery to
remove the solid tumour mass,
Cerepro is injected through the wall of
the cavity left behind by the surgical
removal of the solid tumor, into the
surrounding healthy brain tissue.
In the following days, the healthy cells
in the wall of the cavity express TK.
Five days after surgery, the drug
ganciclovir (GCV) is given to the
patient as part of the overall Cerepro
treatment regimen. Neither TK nor
GCV is individually active but they
react together to produce a substance
which destroys cells when they try to
divide. Since cell division is a key
characteristic of cancer and the normal
brain cells are not dividing, cells that
try to divide to form a new tumor
around the site of the removal of the
original tumor are targeted for
destruction by the Cerepro treatment.