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New targeted treatment for brain tumors shows promise in pre-clinical models

Gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors, and also one of the most complicated cancers to treat. Currently, treatment options such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are only marginally beneficial and present significant risks for patients, including loss of physical and cognitive abilities. But, a new study published today in Clinical Cancer Research found that treatment with a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) L2G7 inhibited the growth of glioma cells, induced glioma regression within the brain and prolonged survival a finding that could be translated into human trials as early as next year.

"There is a tremendous need for advancement in the treatment of malignant brain tumors, which are the number one cancer killer of children under age 20 and a devastating diagnosis for adults as well," said Dr. John Laterra, M.D., Ph.D., research scientist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and senior author of the study. "The results of this study bring us closer to developing an alternative treatment option for both adults and for pediatric patients, who are hardest hit by conventional therapies."

A team of researchers, led by Dr. Jin Kim of Galaxy Biotech, LLC in Mountain View, CA and Dr. John Laterra of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD, designed the study to evaluate the effectiveness of L2G7 in treating human gliomas implanted in mouse models. Results indicate that treatment with L2G7 completely inhibited the growth of the tumors when established under the skin of animals, while control mAb had only a minimal effect. Even more promising results were observed in mice with tumors implanted within the brain. In this setting, L2G7 not only induced tumor regression, but dramatically increased survival. Animals treated with the control all died within 41 days of starting the experiment. All mice treated with L2G7 survived through day 70, and 80% of the animals were alive at day 90, six weeks after stopping the L2G7 treatment.
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Contact: Emily Butler
ebutler@spectrumscience.com
202-955-6222
Kennedy Krieger Institute
15-Feb-2006


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