AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 3, 2018

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Vulnerability Identified for Subtypes of Glioblastoma

Precision medicine approach may give previously tested drug a second chance

Glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, typically fails to respond to treatment or rapidly becomes drug resistant. University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers identified a strategy that pinpoints a genetically distinct subpopulation of patients with glioblastoma that is particularly sensitive to drugs like cilengitide that target a cell adhesion receptor.

Cilengitide was developed based on early studies by David Cheresh, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and colleagues who demonstrated that expression was linked to the progression of glioblastoma. The drug was tested in clinical trials but production was halted in 2014 when it failed to show significant improvement in overall survival among participants during phase III trials.

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