Study: Treat brain tumors with drug combos

Ronald DePinho, MD, director of the Center for Applied Cancer Science at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, says that using three or more kinase-blocking therapies like Gleevec and Tarceva in combination are needed to shut down abnormal cell-growth signals. He's calling for a quick ramp-up of new clinical trials to test his findings on the subject, which were published online by Science. The study focused on glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor that is almost always fatal. The scientists also found similar patterns of multiply activated RTKs in other common cancers of the pancreas and lung.

"This is a transformative finding that will motivate clinicians and our pharmaceutical colleagues to design clinical trials with regimens using several inhibitors," said DePinho.

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