AZD8055 Plus Temozolomide Effective for Glioblastoma in Preclinical Study

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According to new research published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, researchers at the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, have found that a novel drug called AZD8055 plus temozolomide extended the life of animals with human brain tumors by 30%.

For the study, the researchers utilized tumor cells from 100 patients with glioblastoma and inserted them into animal models. Using AZD8055, researchers were able to target the mTOR signaling pathway, thereby causing cancer cell death, and when they combined it with temozolomide, the current standard treatment, a greater number of cancer cells died. Researchers hope to start a clinical trial to determine the safety and efficacy of the combination treatment in patients with glioblastoma.

Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common form of brain cancer among adults, as well as the deadliest. The median survival for patients with glioblastoma is 15 months, and according to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year relative survival rate of patients with glioblastoma is between 4% and 17%.

MRI of glioblastoma multiforme / Science Source
AZD8055 plus temozolomide extended the life of animals with human brain tumors by 30%.

Researchers at the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI) have made a discovery that could prolong the life of people living with glioblastoma – the most aggressive type of brain cancer. Samuel Weiss, PhD, Professor and Director of the HBI, and Research Assistant Professor Artee Luchman, PhD, and colleagues, published their work today in Clinical Cancer Research, which is leading researchers to start a human phase I/II clinical trial as early as Spring 2015.

Researchers used tumour cells derived from 100 different glioblastoma patients to test drugs that could target the disease. When these human brain tumour-initiating cells were inserted into an animal model, researchers discovered that when using a drug, AZD8055, combined with Temozolomide (TMZ) – a drug already taken by most glioblastoma patients – the life of the animals was extended by 30 per cent.

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