In an April 8, 2022 release, it was announced that a novel therapy studied at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Cancer Center has led to a clinical trial for the treatment of glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, yet the most common primary brain tumor in adults. Despite decades of research globally, only incremental gains have been made to extend or enhance quality of life for patients with glioblastoma. Treatment options are limited and typically include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Now, a new clinical study open at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin will evaluate an alternative treatment that is administered orally. The treatment evolved from years of research led by Christopher Chitambar, MD, and his lab to study iron-dependent processes in cancer biology and the mechanisms by which gallium compounds target iron metabolism and block malignant cell growth. In preclinical studies, Dr. Chitambar and Kathleen Schmainda, PhD, discovered that when administered intravenously, gallium maltolate (GaM) significantly slowed the growth of glioblastoma in a rat brain tumor model. Additional studies showed that GaM, administeredorally to glioblastoma-bearing rats, significantly reduced the size of their tumors and prolonged survival.
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