A team of researchers across the US, Brazil, Austria and Australia have collaborated to delve deeper into our understanding of Ependymoma. They aim to understand how we can better tailor treatment for this cancer, which currently has no approved chemotherapeutic treatment.
What are the findings?
Ependymoma is a form of brain cancer which can cause severe cognitive and motor complications, often in children. The team looked at an array of advanced techniques to better understand this tumour. They found that, compared to other tumours, a major regulator of fundamental processes in the brain called the ‘Hedgehog signalling pathway’ was much more active in this tumour type.
Using this discovery, a combination of drugs were tested. The drugs had a good response in the lab, but unfortunately, not in later animal models. The team think this may have been in relation to the blood brain barrier limiting the effectiveness of the treatment.
What are the next steps?
This additional knowledge of how this tumour works is a great discovery. Future trials can utilise this to determine a more stratified treatment for Ependymoma.
The team say they are looking at alternative drugs that may be better equipped to penetrate the blood brain barrier. This would allow for clinical trials potentially capable of providing improved outcomes for those who are diagnosed with this rare form of brain cancer.
To read more scientific information on this study, click here.
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