A study led by scientists at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Arizona has identified "a potent inhibitory compound" in the elusive hunt for an improved treatment against glioblastoma, the most common and deadly type of adult brain cancer. Aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) is a chemical compound that in laboratory tests was shown to block the chemical cascade that otherwise allows glioblastoma cells to invade normal brain tissue and resist both chemo and radiation therapy, according to a TGen-led report published online on January 17, 2017 in the scientific journal Oncotarget. The article is titled “Identification of Aurintricarboxylic Acid As a Selective Inhibitor of the TWEAK-Fn14 Signaling Pathway in Glioblastoma Cells.” "The findings of this study could represent a breakthrough in our efforts to find an effective long-term treatment against glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)," said Dr. Harshil Dhruv, an Assistant Professor in TGen's Cancer and Cell Biology Division, and a lead author of the study. Initial treatment of glioblastoma consists of surgical removal of the tumor, radiation, and chemotherapy using the drug temozolomide (TMZ). However, the proclivity of glioblastoma to invade adjacent brain tissue prevents the surgical removal of all tumor cells. Plus, invasive glioblastoma cells show resistance to TMZ, resulting in the cancer's eventual return and the patient's death, often within a year. Despite recent advances, the median survival of glioblastoma patients is only 15 months, and survival statistics have not significantly improved over the past three decades. More than 16,000 Americans die each year of brain and other nervous system cancers. "We simply must find a better way of treating patients with glioblastoma," said Dr. Michael Berens, TGen Deputy Director and one of the study co-authors.
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