New Drug For Recurrent Brain Tumors In Tests At UNC

l's ability to grow."

The drug is administered intravenously. Initially, patients will get a dose every day for four days and then once a week for up to a year. Patients with a good response can continue on the medicine beyond that, as long as they're doing well, Ewend says. Adverse effects from the drug include headache, confusion and sleepiness. Some test subjects have developed gastrointestinal upset, but Ewend notes that most people tolerate SU101 very well.

The second study is a phase II clinical trial, which like the GBM study, also is sponsored by Sugen. This preliminary trial will test the effectiveness of SU101 against anaplastic astrocytoma, a slightly lower grade malignancy than GBM.

"The dose has been established and this is an open trial. All enrolled will get the drug, so we can look for evidence of a positive effect against the tumor," Ewend says.

According to the neurosurgeon, anaplastic astrocytoma is very similar to GBM. "Patients may be eight to 10 years younger with a median survival of a few years rather than one year. But it's a high-grade tumor, and people with anaplastic astrocytoma can develop glioblastoma. So aggressive therapy is still required."

Over 20 centers nationally are involved in the GBM phase III trial and more than 15 are in the anaplastic astrocytoma phase II trial. UNC-CH is the only center in North Carolina involved in these SU101 brain tumor studies.

Persons interested in enrolling in either trial should contact Dr. Ewend at 919-966-1374.


Contact: Lynn Wooten
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

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