AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 4, 2018


Researchers Discover New Combination Therapy Strategy for Brain, Blood Cancers

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine have discovered a new potential strategy to personalize therapy for brain and blood cancers. “We found a new combination of therapeutics that could treat cancers that lack a protein called PTEN. PTEN is an important tumor suppressor, which means that it stops cell growth and division according to the needs of the body,” says David Plas, PhD, Anna and Harold W. Huffman Endowed Chair for Glioblastoma Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Plas is an associate professor in the Department of Cancer Biology, a member of the UC Cancer Institute and a researcher in the Brain Tumor Center of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute. Atsuo Sasaki, PhD, and Hala Elnakat Thomas, PhD, both in the Division of Hematology Oncology at the UC College of Medicine, were collaborators on the study. In early work using experimental therapeutics in human cancer cells and in tumor models, the Plas laboratory showed that stopping the production and function of the protein S6K1 could eliminate PTEN-deficient glioblastoma cells. Glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer, is difficult to treat with targeted therapeutics.

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