Discovery of Key Protein-Protein Interaction Lays Foundation for Future Glioblastoma Therapy

When people hear the word “cancer,” they often picture a single mass, but glioblastoma cells are also highly invasive and spread quickly from the central mass, making it very difficult to fully eradicate. Even with current treatments such as temozolomide, the standard chemotherapy approved to treat glioblastoma, temozolomide-resistant tumors recur in more than 50 per cent of patients with less than one per cent surviving ten years after diagnosis. In a study published September 11, 2023 in Nature Cancer, a research team at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada showcased a new potential treatment approach for glioblastoma called a designer peptide, which targets a protein-protein interaction in the glioblastoma cells. “By uncovering the role of a previously unknown protein-protein interaction in glioblastoma, we were able to develop a designer peptide which possesses robust therapeutic efficacy in treating all major types of glioblastoma in preclinical models,” says Dr. Xi Huang, a Senior Scientist in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology program. “This could form the basis of next-generation glioblastoma therapy.” The Nature Cancer article is titled “A Designer Peptide Against the EAG2–Kvβ2 Potassium Channel Targets the Interaction of Cancer Cells and Neurons to Treat Glioblastoma.”
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