A new form of gene therapy has shown promise in battling a type of deadly brain cancer.
More than a quarter of people with recurrent high-grade glioma – the most common type of adult brain tumor – were still alive three years after the pioneering treatment.
Median survival among clinic trial participants was 14.4 months, compared with eight months typically seen in patients.
Experts say the new treatment is safe, because while it uses high concentrations of chemotherapy, it spares sufferers from systemic exposure to its harmful effects.
Around 160,000 people are diagnosed with high-grade – or fast-growing – gliomas worldwide each year, and it is the type of tumor US Senator John McCain was diagnosed with earlier this year.
They recur in most patients and for many the disease cannot be cured.
A phase I clinic trial has revealed median survival after a new gene therapy was 14.4 months, compared with eight months typically seen in patients with high-grade glioma (stock photo)
Glioma is a broad category of brain and spinal cord tumors that come from glial cells, brain cells that can develop into tumors.
The symptoms, prognosis, and treatment of a malignant glioma depend on the person’s age, the exact type of tumor, and the location of the tumor within the brain.
They are often diagnosed in the 4th through 6th decade of life, depending on the type of glioma.
Low-grade (slow-growing) versions of gliomas can occur in children. Brain tumors are slightly more likely to occur in males.
Prior radiation to the brain is a risk factor for malignant gliomas. Some genetic disorders also increase the risk of development of these tumors in children but rarely in adults.
There are no lifestyle risk factors associated with malignant gliomas. This includes alcohol, cigarette smoking, or cell phone use.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Gliomas are tumors of the glial tissue, which hold and support nerve cells and fibres.
They tend to