Thursday, August 8, 2013

Advanced Genetic Treatment For Breast Cancers That Spread To The Brain; Now In Clinical Trials In U.S.

Cancer Treatments
Brain Tumor: The article explains: “The gene therapy uses a virus that infects cancer cells
and inserts a gene in them. The gene makes the cells susceptible to a drug called 5-flurocytosine, 

or 5-FC, which kills them. The drug is otherwise not toxic to the patient.”
Credit & Source: UCLA NeuroSurgery

An article, by Catharine Paddock, in Medical News Today says there is a new immunotherapy treatment for beast cancers that have metastasized to the brain, which historically have been difficult to treat because of the blood-brain barrier.

Paddock writes:
A combination of two new therapies already in clinical trials for the treatment of primary malignant brain tumors may also be effective in the treatment of breast cancer that has spread to the brain, according to US researchers. The team, from the University of California Los Angeles, demonstrated their new approach, which combines immunotherapy with gene therapy, in mice. They write about their findings in the most recent issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research. 
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. The National Cancer Institute estimates that in the US in 2013 some 235,000 new cases of breast cancer will arise, and the disease will claim some 40,000 lives.The vast majority of deaths from cancer are because of metastasis, where the cancer spreads from the primary site to other parts of the body, such as the brain.
Patients with metastatic brain tumors have a very poor prognosis since most current treatments rely on chemotherapy, and many of the drugs are ineffective because the brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier.
This is promising, since chemotherapy itself has harmful side effects; its methods although effective are outdated, since in the process of killing cancer cells it also kills healthy cells. There is a limit to how much chemo the human body can accept. It would be preferable that medical oncologists move away from the current model of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to ones that are less invasive. Immunotherapy and gene therapy fit within such therapies, although it is too early to tell how effective they might be.

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You can read the rest of the article at [MedNews]


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