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Scientists found a potential treatment for human Glioma by an existing drug used for another disease.
Researchers from AscentGene in the United States collaborating with researchers of Nankai University in China discovered that a drug developed for non-oncology indication (AG-1031) has the potential on inhibiting the expansion of glioma (Hao et al., 2018; Wang et al, 2017).
Glioma is the most common primary and fast growing brain tumor comprising 30% of all brain and central nervous system tumors, and 80% of all malignant brain tumors. , Current therapies, including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ), have not resulted in major improvement in survival outcomes of patients with glioma. Thus, novel targeted therapies are highly desired. The discovery of AG-1031 presented the evidence that an FDA approved drug showed promise as a potential treatment for glioma, but further assessments including dose tolerance, effect of combination treatment with TMZ, and direct comparison with other glioma drugs have to be conducted.
The reports, titled “AG-1031 induced autophagic cell death and apoptosis in C6 glioma cells associated with Notch-1 signaling pathway” and “AG-1031 and AG-1503 improve cognitive deficits by promoting apoptosis and inhibiting autophagy in C6 glioma model rats”, detail the preclinical studies on the effects of AG-1031 (and/or AG-1503, an analogue of AG-1031) on glioma animal models. The results provide the evidence that AG-1031 (and/or AG-1503) have significant impact in inhibiting the growth of glioma, paving the way for potential treatments in the near future.
According to National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), “because repurposing builds upon previous research and development efforts, new candidate therapies could be ready for clinical trials quickly, speeding their review by the Food and Drug Administration and, if approved, their integration into health care”.