US Researchers Discover New Strategy To Treat Brain Cancer Patients

A team of investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital has uncovered a potentially promising strategy to target brain tumour in cancer patients.

Jessica David

July 2, 2020

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A team of investigators has uncovered a potentially promising strategy to target brain tumours – isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) genes, which are the most common brain tumours diagnosed in younger adults aged 18 to 45 years. Led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital, the finding of their study has been published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Prior work by the group, led by Mass General’s Daniel Cahill (MD, PhD), Hiroaki Wakimoto (MD, PhD) and Julie Miller (MD, PhD), revealed that IDH mutant gliomas have a metabolic weakness.

This makes them especially susceptible to treatments that lower NAD+ levels, a ubiquitous and vital metabolic molecule commonly thought of as the “currency of metabolism” in cells. These findings indicated that maintaining high PAR (poly ADP-ribose) levels and low NAD+ levels, in combination with chemotherapy, may uniquely target IDH mutant glioma cells. Considering this, Hiroaki Nagashima (MD, PhD), research fellow and lead author devised a new treatment strategy and tested it in tumour cells and animal models.

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